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When you’re at your desk, wired on coffee, tight deadlines, and the constant feeling of busyness, you find yourself longing for sandy beaches, seafood platters and sangria in some exotic country far from where you currently are. However, when once you’ve taken leave and got yourself to some secluded paradise, you find yourself just as anxious and tense as you are at the office.

What is the reason for this?

Physiologically, stress, anxiety and even depression trigger the sympathetic nervous system – home of the famous “fight or flight” mechanism. Relaxation triggers the parasympathetic system, which is where we breathe, and our muscles (including those powerful muscles of the heart and brain) work most efficiently. Scientific research suggests that when we stress about relaxing, or when we demand that our bodies exercise too much (as in training for a race) we simply cannot actually let go enough.

The simple truth: you may be having troubles enjoying your time off because you are working too hard at relaxing.

This makes sense when you consider that these days, our responsibilities are intense and relentless, and we’ve come to confuse success and achievement with happiness. Research has shown that this constant pressure to achieve interferes with our physical relaxation mechanisms.

We need to think about relaxing differently.

According to Daniel Pink, the best-selling author of many motivation and behavioural sciences books, a great motivator is a desire for mastery. So even when you’re resting, you may not feel that you’re genuinely relaxing because you aren’t actively pushing to master something.

The solution? Turn ‘relaxing’ into a goal for the holidays with some simple techniques:

Meditation, yoga and breath work.

A holiday is the perfect time to take a class or read a book on some mindful relaxation practices like meditation, yoga and breath work.

Give yourself some (relaxing) homework.

Assign yourself a certain number of books, movies or TV shows to finish during your time off.

Decide on a certain number of slow, calm bike rides or walks to take while you’re not at work, and then try to make sure you take that many, or more.

Don’t do a digital detox (unless you want to).

Yes, there are many benefits to getting off social media for a while, but if the idea of being disconnected makes you more anxious than excited then don’t force yourself to. Instead, simply dedicate half an hour a day to check your emails and catch up with the gram.

Order another Aperol Spritzer.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the local drinks and delicacies. Trying to stick to a low carb diet and strict exercise regime on holiday is stressful and just plain pointless, because you may as well be at home eating your meal prep lunches and rushing between meetings. This is your time to indulge a little and #YOLO.

Don’t overdo the activities.

This is your holiday, spend it as you desire. Don’t feel pressure to visit every museum, try every water sport or go to every restaurant, it’s impossible and downright exhausting to attempt. Instead, pick a few things you really want to do and give yourself plenty of chill time in between them.

To further help yourself get some quality rest, take Releaf Theanine, which acts as a caffeine antagonist and may help promote good quality shut-eye through anxiolysis.

Content from:

Psychologytoday.com

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Elle.com