It’s getting harder and harder to get rid of your job: on vacation we check your mail, go to social networks and make calls to important partners. However, research shows that this way of spending the holidays only increases stress and can lead to burnout.
A group of researchers from City University in London worked to solve the problem and interviewed 90 teachers across the country. The study lasted eight weeks as psychologists sought out the teachers’ feelings before, during and after the New Year holidays. The results showed that teachers, whose work by definition is highly stressful and emotional, are in critical need of a complete cessation of work in order to avoid burnout. Those of them who continued to worry about working on vacation have recovered worse than those who took a qualitative break. Based on the research, British psychologists made a number of recommendations, and the main of them is not only to know about the quality of rest, but also to apply this knowledge in life.
Even a few days can help
Stress tends to accumulate. Interruptions in work are critical to reloading the body’s physiological response to stress, and they can also have a long-term impact on health and well-being. This is also the case with Dutch scientists, who have found that even a short vacation (4-5 days) has the same positive effect as a longer vacation (from 9 days). The aftertaste of a tropical beach holiday will not last long, so it is recommended to take a few short vacations during the year. And, of course, it is very important not to work during these short vacations.
Turn off your mail and turn on your games
It can be useful to do things that you think are frivolous in your «normal» life or put off for later. For example, computer games and TV shows, eating cakes and playing snowball with children. It is important to turn off the notifications in your phone, and instead of reading books from a list compiled six months ago.
Distracted by charging
This is an obvious thing, but let’s say again — exercise is very important, as it helps to relax, just like a massage or a good joke. The hardest part of relaxation is to distract your mind from your work. A good way to do this is through visualisation: imagine yourself in a place that is not associated with work, such as a carnival or a desert island by a fire.
Also, we often ignore the role of breathing in relieving stress, which we consider an automatic function of the body. However, at moments of stress, breathing is most often thoracic, and in a relaxed state, we breathe the diaphragm. A simple exercise can help control breathing: put your hand on your stomach and breathe, imagining that you have a balloon in your stomach that rises and falls.
Find time for yourself in the middle of fun
The hardest part of rest is the feeling that you should rest. This can become a bitter responsibility as another task to perform. Remember, relaxation does not mean doing nothing, because lying on the couch, usually in your mind you scroll through the list of things to do in January.
A way to get away from the gloomy dumas will be an honest pastime alone with yourself, although it is difficult to achieve. New Year’s Eve is a time when you make other people happy, though endlessly close to you. If you have children, make an arrangement with your partner (or yourself) that after they go to bed, you watch a movie or go for a walk. This is not selfishness or asocial behaviour, but a vital time for reflection.
The mainfulness technique, the practice of fixing consciousness on «here and now», will help to distract you from your work. Even if you don’t physically work, you can think about unfinished projects, and it kills the very idea of relaxation. So learn to practice mental presence in this moment of relaxation.
And last but not least, it’s very important. Try not to talk about your work, even at a party with colleagues, changing the subject matter is a good move.