The coronavirus lockdown has made us all reassess our well-being and mental health, me included. At times, it was like running on a perpetual hamster wheel. Juggling childcare, home-schooling, meals, chores, a daily walk and work. There wasn’t a second to think. How I envied my single friends binge-watching the latest Netflix series, working through the Richard and Judy Book Club, joining in with the plethora of Youtube exercise classes, or proudly posting their latest personal best run via Strava.
I, on the other hand, felt exhausted. Every day had turned into ground-hog day. My initial enthusiasm had gone. The word ‘No’, mostly shouted in our house signalled increasing rebellion from the kids. I felt emotional and overwhelmed but wasn’t sure why. My sense of humour had well and truly suffered a bypass.
Surely, I’d got this. After all, I’d been a mum for seven years. I should be able to handle looking after my kids twenty-four seven for a few months, right? It didn’t exactly feel easy though. More the opposite. Nights weren’t much better, my mind whirred whilst forgotten anxieties resurfaced. Come morning, I’d repeatedly hit the snooze button, utterly worn out before the day had begun.
‘What you need is a holiday’ said my husband. He was right. I needed a holiday for a change of landscape. I needed a holiday to have a co-parent by my side for more than an occasional few hours. But more than anything, I needed a holiday to have time and space, to refresh and re-energise myself.
Sometimes we get so caught up in life, we don’t see the obvious. So how do we know when we need to take that all-important break from ‘normal’ life?
10 ways to know if you’re in need of a holiday...
1. You’re Not Looking your Best
Life has caught up with you. Your story is told through changes to your skin, hair and weight because of your current lifestyle. You also can’t be bothered with basic maintenance like waxing and nails. You meant to book a hair appointment but never got around to it.
2. You’re Forgetful
Keys, wallet, phone, birthdays, calendar dates, brushing your teeth. You’re forgetting to do stuff and it’s becoming more frequent.
3. You’re Irritable
Everyone seems to irritate you, including your nearest and dearest. Worse still, you keep snapping and losing your temper, even with work colleagues. We won’t even mention that man from Sky or the woman that took your car park space in the Aldi Car Park. Did someone say mountain out of a molehill?
4. You’re Impatient
Feel familiar? Life seems stressful. Everything’s done in a rush even eating. There’s nothing mindful about your life. You hate being kept waiting. So much so that tutting has become your favourite pastime. Not only that but you notice that your kids have developed that same impatient tone you use.
5. Your Sleep is Suffering
You either can’t get to sleep at night or you wake frequently or both. Either way, you’re always knackered and in need of a solid eight hours.
6. Zero Concentration Span
What was I saying again? We’re talking those times when you stare into space and zone out. Or drive past the correct turning. Or can’t go five minutes without checking into Facebook, Twitter or any social media. It happens to all of us but if your concentration is worsening, it’s a sure sign your mind needs time to declutter.
7. You’re Emotional
You cry at the drop of a hat. Your emotions feel unbalanced and overwhelming at times. Do not, I repeat, do not watch Watership Down or hold any new-born babies.
8. You Make Silly Mistakes
This can happen at work or in your personal life. Maybe you rushed a document out without taking enough time to proof-read it. Perhaps you hit send before you meant to or you texted a message to the wrong person. Little mistakes are becoming more frequent, or even big ones!
9. You’re Neglecting your Personal Life
You miss important events in your personal life, purposefully because you’re too busy or you overlook them unintentionally. It might be friends or family, but someone will get upset if it continues.
10. Work is Suffering
You’ve lost enthusiasm, are irritated by colleagues, make careless mistakes, or even miss something important. The snooze button also has become your best friend.
In short, you’ve lost your spark.
The Health and Well-Being Benefits of a Holiday
It’s no surprise that holidays are great for our health. We rest, eat well, spend time with our loved ones, and switch off from work. According to Travel Online, there are four ways that they help us. Holidays:
- Decrease stress
- Make us happier
- Improve our relationships
- Improve our productivity
Allowing time for a holiday enables us to recharge our mind and body which is essential for our well-being. Not taking holidays leads to burnout and demotivation. Even worse, it can lead to major health issues including insomnia, stomach issues, backaches, tension headaches, and irritability. Not only that but overwork increases the risk of heart attack and strokes.
Additionally, new experiences that we have whilst holidaying increase our creativity, and this can lead to powerful insights and new ideas. They help shape our lives and redirect us when necessary.
The good news is that as the lockdown eases, the prospect of a holiday becomes more real. Sure, it’ll be different. There’ll be temperature tests at airports, social distancing in shops and restaurants, and big tourist attractions may be closed. Even so, many of us will still pack our suitcases whether for a staycation or those, less risk-averse, a trip abroad. I, for one, will be booking a holiday in line with government advice and guidelines. My mental health needs it. My body needs it. I need it!
Another certainty is that wherever I go, my Scentered Well Being Ritual Aromatherapy Mini-Tin will be coming with me. It’s the perfect travel friendly set. These wonderful aromatherapy balms are exactly what I need to support mini mindful transitions, whether I'm at home or abroad throughout the course of my day. From waking up feeling happy and refreshed to relaxing into a deep sleep at night, this pack has it covered.