How to live as if you're on holiday every day

Susannah Hickling

Are holidays the only time you unwind? Here’s why you should adopt that getaway mindset every day

We feel great on holiday because we let go of everyday stresses and strains. Research has even shown that vacations help health and well-being. So whether or not you’re going away this summer, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you benefit from that holiday feeling.

 

Sleep like a holidaymaker

Sleep like a baby when you’re on your holidays but stay awake fretting when you’re in your usual routine? If so, you might need to examine your sleep habits. Sleep deprivation affects our ability to control emotions, make decisions, concentrate and deal with stress.

To reset your sleep pattern, avoid bringing problems to bed. That includes your phone, TV or laptop. Turn the clock round so it can’t stress you out and make sure the room is dark and cool. Aim for at least seven hours’ ZZZs—just as you would on holiday.

 

Get moving

When you’re travelling, you walk around new cities without a second thought. Given that exercise is cheap, healthy and reduces stress, it makes absolute sense to build it into your day. A brisk walk will release happy hormones, such as adrenaline and serotonin, and eases anxiety and mild depression.

Start with just 15 minutes of exercise a day. Cycle to work or pull out the treadmill you stuffed in the spare room and walk while you watch the telly.

 

Make your meals a celebration

Part of the joy of going away is lingering over delicious food with people who are dear to you. Ditch that tendency to gulp your food down on the go and take up the holiday habit of sitting down as a family for at least one meal a day (no technology allowed). Families who eat together experience less anxiety, less depression and less obesity, research has found.

 

Carve out some dedicated quiet time

That moment when you lie back on your beach towel with the sand between your toes, the sun on your face and you sigh with pleasure… Wouldn’t it be nice to have that “ahh” feeling every day?

It’s far from impossible, you’ll be pleased to know, so long as you make time to take a break from the hurly burly of today’s world and calm your mind and body. Do anything that makes you feel better. It could be a long bath, a massage, a nice cup of tea with a friend. Just make sure you schedule it into your day or week.

 

Be a tourist in your own town

Part of the thrill of a holiday is the novelty of discovering a new place and doing new things. You eat at fancy restaurants, sign up for bike tours, have a go at surfing.

But it’s also easy to be a holidaymaker in the place you inhabit. At weekends, check out a new music venue, go for a ramble on a route you don’t know, visit a different museum or have a drink in that interesting-looking pub you’re always walking past. It will get you out of a rut and make you feel alive. A bit like a holiday, really.