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How To Take A Mental Break When On Holiday

Written by: Dr. Siya Mjwara, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever taken leave from work, went on holiday and came back exhausted? Some people seem to need more leave to recover from their leave. If you are one of those individuals, then you are not alone. Although you might have been on holiday for fun, how much fun is too much fun and when does the holiday become an opportunity to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. Maybe you are one of those individuals who cannot leave their laptop behind when going on holiday. Or you are the workaholic who’s in denial; the type that leaves the laptop behind, but ensures that everything is connected to their mobile phone. A break is supposed to be exactly that, a break. However, with the many pressures of work, life and increasing social media FOMO; many of us find ourselves struggling to give ourselves the mental break we so need and deserve. If this seems like your reality, here are some tips that might come in handy for your next holiday break.

Organize. Leave an automatic reply on your email, with an alternative contact person for emergencies or urgent queries. At this point I feel like defining urgent. Urgent means something that cannot wait until your return from leave. It’s a good idea to also do a proper handover and a detailed leave plan with and for your colleagues, so that they can leave you alone during your holiday. If you have children and they are with a caregiver. Leave the emergency numbers and be clear on the times you will check in with them and how. Ensure that they also know what to do in case of an emergency, and in case they cannot get hold of you.

It might be a good idea to at least some basic research about the weather, culture, religion and laws of the place you are going to. Of course you will pack all the important things first, including any medication. Figure out how exactly you will find time to rest (and even exercise) in-between your activities, and how to manage people trying to get hold of you (the usual stalkers).

Switch off. The world will not end of you do not know what’s trending. Trust me; you can always catch up upon your return. Please take a deep breath and repeat this to yourself at least five times. If you are still feeling anxious, please contact your therapist.

Have clean organized fun. Do things that will not worry you or cause problems for you afterwards. If you spend more than you can afford during your trip, that might cause anxiety and stress for you upon your return; thus defeating the very purpose of you going on holiday in the first place.

Set time aside to get enough sleep, meditate or to basically do nothing. If you have activities planned, try to plan them early into your holiday and ensure that at least a day or two before your holiday ends, you are able to rest, pack, sleep and prepare for going back to your normal. If you had travelled far for your holiday, try to return home a day or two before you are due to return to work. This will help you deal with the jet lag, sort out the household stuff and prepare for returning to work timeously.

It is indeed becoming increasingly difficult to switch off from the world. However, taking responsibility to give yourself the rest you need will do wonders for your overall wellbeing. It will also give you an opportunity to show up well-rested and rejuvenated; which will have a positive impact your work and personal relationships.

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Dr. Siya Mjwara, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Siya Mjwara is an experienced therapist & wellness coach, trainer, and EAP consultant who has worked with individuals, couples, families, and management teams across various industries for over 14 years.

Her educational and continued professional development has transformed into a dedication to bring awareness to individuals.

She assists businesses develop, implement employee wellness solutions to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and overall workplace culture.

From an individual perspective, she supports clients to identify and confront their challenges; and the things that are holding them back; to become their truest being by fulfilling their mission in life and walking in their purpose.

Dr. Siya is the founder of Amambelu Bespoke Wellness and AskDrSiya. She is also a published poet, voice-over artist, and radio presenter.



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