One of the most tangible changes that have been brought about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is in our working habits. And whilst some habits may have changed for the better, and working from home might seem luxurious for some, at MYNDUP we believe it’s vital for your mental health to continue to treat your work space just like an office, and make sure you use your full holiday allowance.
When we’re in lockdown, sleeping, eating, relaxing, socialising and working within the confines of four walls, it’s easier to let work stresses impact the rest of your life. So why aren’t people using their full holiday during lockdown? And how is this effecting individuals’ mental health?
Why Aren’t People Using Holiday During Covid
The old daily commute, the squeeze on to the tube or the long cold wait on the station platform, has been replaced with putting on a pair of slippers and padding down the stairs.
Rushing down breakfast before stepping out into the eye-wateringly cold morning air has been replaced with a leisurely rise, 45 minutes later than if you were heading to work, before cooking a wholesome meal and settling down with a coffee.
Whilst it all may seem easy and comfortable initially, working in lockdown comes with its own set of challenges. Due to the fact that there is nowhere to really go on holiday, there has been a rising trend in people working five days a week, every week, as they feel as if to take holiday would be to waste a day.
After all, what would you get out of a holiday in lockdown? Getting up an hour later, sitting in the same house all day, not feeling as if you’re really achieving anything or doing anything new, can really put people off taking holiday in lockdown.
People are also seemingly more reluctant to book holiday outside of lockdown. Making plans and booking flights for a few months’ time can seem wasteful when, realistically, we don’t know when we’ll be able to travel again.
Reportedly 28% of workers cancelled holiday in 2020, as the prospect of time of in their front rooms or in the local park didn’t hold much appeal. Although this behaviour is understandable, 2020 and 2021 are years where taking holiday is more vital for your mental health than ever before.
Why You Should Use Your Full Holiday Allowance in 2021
Although you might be tempted to forgo your holiday for a while, whether you want to save up days, impress your employer, or simply aren’t interested in a day off whilst your stuck at home and you can’t make plans too far in advance, taking holiday is extremely important, and everyone working should be making use of it.
And whilst working from home might seem like a reason not to take any holiday, it is actually quite the opposite.
Stress, boredom and anxiety can be a result of worries when it comes to job security, a lack of understanding in one’s role, less communication and less socialising with colleagues. These factors are all exacerbated by constantly working from, where it’s easy to feel disconnected from your work and from the people you are working with.
For many, working from home also makes it worryingly easy to keep to themselves, and not reach out to anyone, whether it’s a colleague, friend or family member, to work through how they’re feeling.
It’s clear then, that mixing work with home life too closely with your work can become detrimental to your mental health, and that’s why it’s vital to use your holiday allowance.
The Benefits of Using Your Full Holiday Allowance
Giving yourself a break can do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing. Turning off your laptop, getting outside, doing something that isn’t staring at a laptop for hours on end, all of these are things that can really benefit us in the long and short term.
Taking a break and a few days to recharge your batteries, take a breath and relax are incredibly important and reduce the chances of you burning out and becoming overly stressed. It allows you concentrate on relationships that are important to you, enjoy activities that you love, and focus solely on your own wellbeing for a short period of time.
In fact, studies show that not only can taking holiday benefit your mental health, but also your long term physical health. The University of Helsinki has shown that taking holidays can be as good for your physical health as regular exercise, after a 40 year study tracked the holidaying and working habits of a control group.
Of course, a holiday in lockdown isn’t the most ideal situation, but try to make the most of your time off by walking somewhere new, getting fresh air, breaking your daily routine and getting in touch with people you’ve not reached out to for a while.
By changing your day up and breaking the monotony of working life, you’ll reward your mind and your body.
"Holidays can give us a fresh wave of motivation and a positive mental boost. We can leave any worries behind & increase our creativity simply by connecting with new areas &/or interests ...gaining a deeper sense of awareness & personal growth.” - Caterina, Life Coach & Relationship Coach, Counsellor
Clearly, despite the restrictions of lockdown and the potential for future cancellations of more elaborate travel plans, ensuring you get time to rest and recharge is vitally important for your mental wellbeing.
Whilst it may feel like the next white-sand and glistening blue sea holiday is a long way off, we shouldn’t disregard how important a couple of days off here and there can be in order to help us stay on top of our mental health.
We’re living in a time where stress, anxiety and depression are rife throughout the population, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people are left isolated, worried and insecure about the future, or simply depressed at the state of the world.
The least you can do to combat this is to take some time off from the world, reconnect with people you love and do the things that bring you joy, and reap the benefits that holidays can still bring even if they’re only held in your local neighbourhood.