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If feeling relaxed on holiday seems like the impossible, read our expert guide “The Four Pillars of Holiday Relaxation” to get the most out of your trip and say goodbye to those workplace worries.

There is nothing more relaxing than spending time away in another environment, free from your usual routine. This combination is the perfect remedy for reducing your everyday stress and helping you relax, unwind and de-stress.

However, more and more Brits are taking their day-to-day stress on the plane with them; resulting in a holiday that is far from relaxing. So, to help combat this, the team here at Hayes & Jarvis have put together “The Four Pillars of Holiday Relaxation” to help you get the most out of your holiday. Our guide looks at the four pillars of wellbeing; physical, mental, communication and nutritional and provides advice and tips on how the four pillars can help you to fully relax and enjoy your holiday. 

Life and Motivation Coach, Maria Hocking, offers her expert advice on how to feel relaxed. “Swimming is a fantastic way to de-stress, whether it be on holiday or on the way home from work. It helps to clear the mind, as focus is needed to coordinate the strokes and the breath, leaving little space for thoughts of work or deadlines.” she explains.

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Download our expert guide, with tips and advice from 24 experts on how to unwind and get the most out of your holiday. Mobile friendly or printable.

“Buy yourself a lovely new notebook and pen and get writing. You can start small by just writing three things you are happy about that happened that day, or start writing some goals or plans for the year. The beach is the perfect place to give yourself time to dream and journal. Aim to do three things a day while on holiday. This can be as simple as: go to the beach, read a book and head out to dinner” – Hannah Cox – Life Coach 

“Fitness on holiday doesn’t have to mean a session in the gym or an exercise class. Go sightseeing! It’s amazing how far you walk in a day when taking in the sights – you can easily fit in 10,000 steps before lunchtime, without even noticing. And if you finish your day with a dip in the pool even better” – Ceri Wheeldon – Fab After Fifty

The Findings

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Holidaymakers struggle to leave their work stresses behind

To ultimately find out how much stress the UK population take on holiday with them, Hayes & Jarvis commissioned a survey. Unsurprisingly, over 60% of British people admit to being stressed on holiday from work, and a further half of this percent admit to dreading going back to work when they return home. Our PDF guide includes useful tips on how communicate with your clients, employees and colleagues before going on holiday, to help leave the stress and strain of commitments at work.

Mindfulness activities on holiday are the answer to workplace worriesTo help fully relax, many experts advise practicing mindfulness while on holiday, as it has been found to help reduce stress. Just under half of British people have considered taking part in relaxation activities such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness while on holiday, to help with the de-stressing process. This could help the British population relax, as the study has revealed that is takes, on average, two full days to relax on holiday. That is just under 30% of an average seven-day holiday spent stressed and worried about work and home matters.

Physical – Vicky Mellard

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Don’t worry about scheduling exercise into your holiday schedule

The main thing I want to stress about keeping fit and exercising on holiday is to not stress about it! By doing so, this can stop exercise being beneficial for you and will only make you even more stressed.The main reason you’re on holiday is to make memories and enjoy yourself, so make sure to remember this before you worry that you’ve missed your pre-breakfast workout. Instead, exercise when you have some free time or when you don’t have much planned for the day.

How to incorporate exercise into your daily routine while on holiday

Most hotels have onsite gyms, which is great for those who are gym bunnies. I would recommend exercising first thing in the morning before you have breakfast, as you have the rest of the day to do as you please. It will also set you up for the day, as you will get the post workout buzz of endorphins, and feel revitalized and energised from moving your body. Simply doing around 30 minutes of exercise a day will add so much value to your general health and wellbeing.

Mental Wellbeing – Kelly Brearly

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How to Reduce Stress if You Don’t Enjoy Flying 

  • Sit comfortably with crossed legs or on a chair.
  • Begin by resting the back of the left hand in the palm of the right hand.
  • Grab the left hand with the right, so that the right thumb nestles in the left palm.
  • Cross the left thumb over the right. The fingers of the right-hand curve around the outside of the left hand and hold it gently.
  • Place this mudra at the heart centre, resting against the chest, palms facing towards your heart.
  • Holding your hands in this way will give you a peaceful, secure feeling.
  • Focus on slow deep exhales and inhales
  • Inhale deeply and relax.

Communication – Dr James Jackson

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Banish the Routine

Treating yourself (and your family) to a holiday, takes you out of your daily routine. The usual stressors aren’t there, giving you that opportunity to properly relax. More so than ever before, we are becoming obsessed with productivity and a fear of ‘wasting time’ – so relaxation is the opposite – letting go of the need to be doing things. For a successful holiday, you have to let go of the clock, and that includes letting go of the idea of set meal times. Holiday mode means eating when hungry, not because it is half past six and that’s when you always eat. Hotel buffets and restaurants have their place – eat what you like, when you like, because you’re on holiday. Spend more time eating your meal, as there’s no hurry when you’re on holiday.

Nutrition – Susan Hart

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Hydration is key

Food and drink can also play a big part in making your holiday memorable. Think about hydration even before you get on the plane. Airplane cabins coupled with high altitude (and possibly a few alcoholic drinks during the flight) can all lead to dehydration. The simplest and most effective way to combat that is by drinking water; bottled is the safest. If it is very hot when you land, you will need to drink more than your regular two litres, but remember that tea, coffee, fruit tea, green tea, fruit cordial and fruit juices all count. Children are especially susceptible to heatstroke so make sure they always have drinks to hand.

Keep the alcohol intake to a minimum

Once you’ve reached your destination and unpacked, it is time to relax and unwind. You may feel tempted to hit the bar but too much of a good thing could lead to an increased heart rate and anxiety levels. Instead alternate your alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one. Enjoy a large plate of salad with your meal; the vitamins and minerals they contain will help reduce your stress levels, as will avocados, oranges, kiwi and spinach. Some gentle exercise, such as a walk to get to know your surroundings or a few laps of the pool, will also help you to relax and distress.

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