Closed for the holidays! The psychological need to rest

Today’s world is very competitive. At work as in personal life, you have to be productive, efficient, correct, perform well, meet deadlines, face difficult situations, make decisions, be proactive, renew, constantly update yourself …

All this induces a state of stress which, although it pushes and motivates us at first to remain attentive and to give the best of ourselves, to stay continuously leads to a decrease in motivation, performance and pleasure. work. which even induce disorders such as burnout, anxiety disorders or depressive symptoms.

To avoid this, besides other considerations, advice and the application of relaxation techniques like breathing, it is necessary to have periods of rest to relax physically and psychologically and to disconnect from everyday problems. In other words, a vacation is necessary.

The need for vacation

In this period of rest, it is very useful to perform recovery activities such as relaxation so that the individual can withdraw and rest from the stressors that he has in his normal life.

Understood as a reward for hard work, vacations are an element in building self-esteem and self-awareness, as well as preventing the onset of stress and other disorders. It is a time when we can do activities that we enjoy and for which there is generally no reason to temporarily relinquish the responsibilities associated with the position, role or personal and social status.

Beneficial effects of rest

There are many advantages to enjoying the holidays properly. First of all, compared to the stress mentioned above, the vacation period allows you to relax, repairing the body from damage caused by increased cortisol and anxiety.

In addition, a good rest produces a noticeable increase in creativity, which can lead to the formation of new strategies and ideas that would not occur in a stressful environment. This is because during periods of rest the brain is not inactive, but only stops focusing on certain stimuli, activating many other areas of the psyche that are usually left out.

In this way, mental liberation produced by rest leads to improved judgment and decision-making skills, Allowing a full analysis of the available information and subsequent decision making.

In addition to this, rest produces an increase in productivity and concentration, as the intellectual blockage and the mental and physical slowing down of a continuous stressful situation decreases. The latency of the stimulation response decreases, which increases performance and efficiency both during the leisure period and on the way back to work.

Finally, rest causes the release of endorphins and the activation of neural reward circuits, stimulating the presence of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. All of this produces a reduction in anxiety and negative thought patterns. In conclusion, the holidays are a path that brings happiness to those who can take advantage of the rest period of the holidays.

Things to avoid that diminish the restorative effect of the holidays

It should be noted that the simple act of taking a vacation is not in itself restorative.But the rest comes from the change of activities and ways of thinking compared to the usual situation. This way, not everything is worth it, but there are some things that make it difficult to really enjoy the vacation time that should be taken into account.

In this sense, a common problem with vacations, especially if they are of short duration, is excessive scheduling. We often tend to make long lists of things to do or visit. Note that more quantity does not equate to more quality, as saturating the available time can produce even more stress.

Bedtime is also a common problem. It is common to see how individuals tend to go to bed on a stipulated schedule in order to take advantage of the time. Again, it must be remembered that the ultimate goal is to rest and enjoy.

Another problem to avoid is creating a B routine (being A the daily routine). In this sense, the need to do things out of the ordinary, which does not imply a constant repetition of the same patterns present in everyday life, must be valued.

While the leisure period involved in the holidays is to be fully appreciated, the need to take into account the economic aspect should not be forgotten. Unforeseen events are likely to occur. Likewise, enjoyment must be done without going overboard, because a total lack of control can lead to health, economic and / or relationship problems.

Recommendations to improve the quality of vacations

We talked about certain elements to avoid so as not to interfere with the mental regeneration produced by the holidays. Let’s see now some basic recommendations to improve the latter.

1. The best of improvisation

Among all the recommendations, the main one is to have great flexibility. As already mentioned, the vacation period is full of possible contingencies and, regardless of the planning, the needs of individuals can change. Being able to improvise and adapt to desires and possibilities is essential for an optimal pleasure experience..

2. Change your mindset

A second essential element is to completely disconnect from the normal routine. In other words, it is necessary that before the start of the vacation period everything is prepared so that the usual responsibilities do not stop (except in cases of greater need) at rest.

3. Dare

Another important element is to dare to do new things, As it allows the acquisition of new points of view that can bring great changes in our lives, increasing our creativity.

4. Prevent conflicts

Another consideration to take into account for these vacations to be taken in business is the recommendation to choose the activities to be carried out in collaboration. This strengthens the bond between the topics, additionally offering different perspectives that can help find better options for everyone.

Start over: enter

The vacation rest period ends. Keeping this fact in mind and dealing with it can be the difference between entering everyday life energetically and optimistically and entering a state of hopelessness upon returning from obligations, popularly known as post-vacation syndrome.

In this way you have to look for a gradual return to readjust to everyday life, go home a few days earlierFor example, adjusting circadian rhythms to the usual schedule and, in some cases, encouraging companies to allow gradual reintegration. Also, at the start of the vacation, it is important not to obsess over how much time has left to finish, but to plan to keep in mind that you will be returning at a certain time.

bibliographical references

  • Colombo, V. and Figures, E. (2012). The Importance of Returning to Work: A Review of Where, How and Why, Roles of the Psychologist, Vol 33 (2), 129-137.
  • Immordino, MH et. At. (2012) Rest is not idleness. Implications of the default brain mode for human development and education. Perspectives of psychological science; 7 (4): 352-364.
  • Leung, AK and. At. (2008) Multicultural experience enhances creativity: when and how. The American psychologist; 63 (3): 169-181.
  • Nawijn, J. et al. (2010) Happier vacationers, but most are not happier after vacation. Applied research in quality of life; 5 (1): 35-47.

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