Travelling seems like such a luxury at times. It seems like an extra expenditure that you could save up on and instead put that money in that long-term savings account. What if we say that travelling is an investment in you? It is an investment in your mental health.  To be able to be optimally productive, you have to utilize those vacation days and skip town!

Dissecting Burnout:

Burnout may appear to be one of those trendy words that we encounter frequently on the internet these days. It is not a specific mental health diagnosis, but it is widely acknowledged within the mental health community. It refers to complete mental exhaustion, where a person feels extreme stress and an increase in cortisol levels. They also feel emotionally drained whereby nothing seems to make them feel happy or satisfied. It is a state where one can wake up, go to work, put in the hours, and come back home to crash on the bed but hardly get anything done. This seems to be quite counterproductive, though; you put in the effort but cannot seem to get the same output. Nothing seems worthwhile or important.

How Does a Vacation Help?

Now, imagine this: whether you’re lounging at the beach or watching a sunrise from your cottage at a hill station, exploring a new city, or enjoying the nightlife in a new country. One thing that is certain is that your mind will respond immediately. You will start to feel the short and long-term impacts of this change in your mind and body.

There will be an instant reduction in your level of stress. Imagine no more deadlines, no more calls from your boss, and no emails that require an immediate response. Your cortisol levels will start to go down, you’ll feel less anxious, and an overall feeling of relaxation will overcome you.

A vacation may be just the thing you need for emotional rejuvenation. You will gain an overall appreciation for life when you get to connect with your loved ones or just enjoy some quiet time. You’ll remember the reason you slave away at work all year round. It is to be able to enjoy just these types of moments.

Travelling can also improve your physical health. You may go on nature hikes or just roam around a mall, but travelling does involve a degree of physical exertion. It sometimes makes you realize just how physically inactive you might have been. Getting away from the sedentary days at the office is so essential for your physical and mental well-being.

Vacations may help you realize just how much you’ve been working and enable you to establish healthy boundaries upon returning to the office. They assist you in pursuing a work-life balance that you might have previously considered unimportant. Furthermore, they help you become more resilient to everyday stressors by teaching you effective stress management techniques.

Tips to Cure Your Burnout

While vacation itself is a great way to get rid of your burnout, there are ways to get the optimal results out of your time away from work!

Tip 1: Complete Disconnect

Sometimes, you feel the need to carry along some of your work while on vacation. Remember, someone else can pick up your slack while you’re away. Set a template email to be sent to anyone who tries to reach out to you, letting them know that you will reply once you are back. Do not attend meetings or phone calls from your work. This will not only ensure complete mental peace but it will also help you learn that your own mental peace must take precedence. This is a realization you’ll carry home with you.

Tip 2: Pick a Nature Getaway

Studies show that time spent in nature can reduce stress levels and increase positivity in an individual. The colour green has been positively linked to the reduction in cortisol levels. Nature also boosts the production of endorphins and dopamine. Both these hormones promote happiness in a person.

Tip 3: Travel Slowly

We often see travel companies promising the ultimate vacation with visiting 3 countries in a span of 10 days where they state that they will show you every possible tourist destination. While these vacations may seem promising, they are not the best strategy to combat burnout. You essentially require some days where you can actually kick back, relax, and allow yourself to laze around. You should be able to connect with yourself without a constant timer on your head where you rush from one destination to the next. Remember, it is not about quantity but quality.

Tip 4: Be Mindful

Mindfulness is a state of being where you are aware or conscious. This relates to our previous point; It is so important to be conscious of yourself and your mental state. At the same time, be aware of your surroundings. This is so you can truly appreciate the changes around you and how they make you feel. Practicing yoga or meditation in the morning can be one way to go about it. You do not have to take out a specific time for it, though. If you sit by a waterfall and truly concentrate on the sights and sounds; you’d be able to achieve a moment of complete Zen.

Tip 5: Reconnect with Loved Ones

Travelling alone can be very peaceful, but sometimes travelling with your partner or your friends is a great way to reminisce and build new memories. You discover new things about yourself and others. It can be extremely cathartic connecting deeply with those that you love and care about in a setting away from everyday stress.

Modern life is very fast-paced but sometimes slowing down or stopping is a necessity. Nothing matters more than your peace of mind. We need that reset button once in a while to be able to perform at our best. You do not need to wait till you fully crash before you allow yourself a change. Do not wait for burnout to set in and start doing its damage before you put in your request for a time-out. You deserve regular breaks, so allow yourself to take one. Start planning your vacation today and pick a destination that makes you truly happy.

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Ayesha Zahid is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing since the past four years. She currently deals with adolescents and adults in helping them fight many mental health issues.