Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog post about holidays

Before I went on holiday last summer, I read this inspiring post (in Dutch) about how you can keep that "holiday feeling" a longer.

That feeling was described as:
"This feeling is associated with peace, energy, creativity, inspiration and relaxation"

This made me realize how much I actually need a holiday every now and then. As a salaried employee of my university, I am entitled 41 working days of paid leave per year (yes, that's not a typo, and that's quite common for us here).

As I had read this article before I left, I decided I would pay closer attention to how precisely I was feeling before and after my (relatively short and very full holiday).

I left completely exhausted. In fact, I fell asleep before my plane took off and slept through most of my 10 hour flight.

Now that I've been back to research for one week, I clearly noticed how taking a break positively influenced my abilities. My thinking is clearer, my attention span longer and my focus sharper. Even though I find it hard to stop and rest for a while, this should be a reminder for the upcoming (crazy-busy) months.

As a result of this, I decided I will take the recommendations of that post and put them into practice. Here's a brief summary of that advice:
- do something new once per week
- take enough breaks
- go outside
- turn off your phone/mail/twitter/facebook
- surround yourself with that holiday feeling


I'll be writing in 1 or 2 months to describe how I could savor my holiday feeling a little longer.

A personal note: I wrote my holiday was rather short (10 days) but very full. In fact, it was filled with the PhD defense of my boyfriend, my birthday, a lot of partying and our engagement.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds great! Congrats on your engagement!

    Am just back from my own vacation and am looking forward to your report on how to keep the feeling longer. I was away for a week to a remote fishermen village, with incredibly limited connection to the outside world - I really felt like a different person of different times. I would like to keep THAT feeling but being back in the jungle now, it's nearly impossible :)

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  2. Thanks!
    So far, I've done a few minor things:
    - cutting back on coffee and chocolate
    - spending more time to unwind in the evening
    - train my back muscles in the gym to make them stronger in order to beat the pain I get from working in the lab
    - keeping a stress-free state of mind

    Minor things, mostly, but that stress-free state of mind is a winner (hope I can keep it up) and I've been sleeping very well since I got back (which is an indicator for my stress-levels)

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