How to switch off and make the most of your holiday

After a year of very limited travel, holiday season is well underway, with almost one in five (17%) Brits getting away last month alone1, but how well do people truly switch off and find the escapism they need whilst they are on holiday? 

With the average adult spending three hours and 15 minutes2 on their smartphone each day, often even more for those working in office-based jobs, it’s difficult to transition from being constantly switched-on, to being in a proper state of relaxation whilst taking a holiday.  

Recent data3 shows that on average, almost half of holidaymakers (47%) regret spending too much time on their devices whilst away, which is why insurance2go has teamed up with wellness expert, Sara Picken-Brown, to provide some of the benefits of a proper break on holiday, as well as some top tips on how you can truly switch off on your next holiday. 

Take time to reset 

Sara says: Daily life can be stressful, being on constant high alert triggers the stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol normally disappears within five minutes, but the habit of continually checking emails keeps re-triggering its release.  

“This continual presence of cortisol not only subdues our immune system, exposing us to illness and muscular problems, but also impacts our ability to think clearly and make objective decisions. Holidays are supposed to give our systems the space and time to reset. If we don’t take these periods of rest and recovery, our alert responses become our norm and we go into over-drive with greater risk of ‘burn out’ which has direct impacts on both mental and physical health.”  

Turn off the tech 

“Disrupted sleep patterns, a mind that is unable to slow down or ‘shift gears’, physical pain and inflammation; these are all signs of trauma in the body and if left unchecked can become chronic problems. Switching off from technology, taking time away from the daily triggers of stress are vital for both mental and physical wellbeing.  

“Some of the best ways to switch off are to limit your time on devices checking emails and messages.  Avid holiday readers may choose to take a kindle or device away but turn the mode to dark. Enjoy a daily outdoor activity, such as a walk, swimming, or yoga, instead of reverting back to your phone or laptop” 

Embrace your surroundings 

“Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression, according to The regulation of the natural circadian rhythms helps bring the body back into balanced cycles improving cognitive function, digestion and immune responses. 

“The combination of movement, fresh air and natural light helps with hormone regulation, improved cognitive function, vitamin D absorption and nervous system regulation. The benefits of utilising these techniques to decompress on a daily basis can be just as beneficial for mental and physical health.”

Richard Gray, Head of Marketing and Digital at insurance2go commented: “Over the last 18 months, we’ve all become more reliant on our smartphones as a means of maintaining communication, either socially or professionally and for a sense of escapism when we were under lockdown restrictions.  

“Although these devices are fantastic for these very reasons, it’s important to understand that we do need to take breaks and undergo a digital detox every now and again.  

“This is particularly important whilst on holiday. Wherever you’re going for a getaway, turning your focus to properly switching off from the world back home is hugely beneficial, and will allow you to feel refreshed and revitalised when returning home from your break.”  

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