DO YOU REALLY JUST NEED A HOLIDAY? WE DON’T THINK YOU DO
We all say it… “I REALLY JUST NEED A HOLIDAY!” But is it really that simple? Can taking just any ‘really needed’ holiday make such a difference to our wellbeing? Is a holiday the treatment we all could do with to boost our mental health?
Of course, nothing is that simple in life and sweeping statements never really apply. Actually there are recent studies that show our immune system negatively adjusts to reduced activity. It is possible that this is the reason we often get a bug when we first go away. Some research puts this down to the ‘shift’ effect. Think about what happens in a car when you are travelling at speed and try to change down suddenly from fifth to first gear. Much like the car, perhaps we struggle to cope with a sudden shift down. Of course, this does not mean that the best holiday is one where we take work with us and don’t focus on relaxation!
So what should ‘time off’ really mean to us if we are to truly benefit?
That’s a big question.
For those of you who know our Eco Village – Finca de Arrieta, we don’t need to explain that we have our own special view as to what ‘time off’ should be all about. A holiday here embraces and nurtures our stunning environment, we believe that when we are really more connected to our natural surroundings, then reconnecting to the people close to us comes more naturally.
For this post though, we thought we would ask for another opinion. Anjali S Mitter is a qualified therapist treating a wide range of clients from her West London Clinic. Whilst Anjali is trained in both CBT and hypnotherapy, her approach is not simply about “correcting” behaviour and thoughts…
“There is a lot of value in finding passion in hobbies or interests, and laughing is an important part of life too! I tie this all in by having an interest in what my clients are passionate about”.
The Reason That You Need A Holiday.
By Anjali S Mitter.
In conversations on mental health, the emphasis placed on “taking time off” is huge. But what exactly do we do with that time off? How many people have forced themselves to take time off, only to sit and ruminate on all the work they have to do? What does it mean to genuinely take time off?
The answer here differs depending on who you’re talking to. From where I stand, “time off” needs to encompass the ability to recharge completely and fuel oneself with passion and vibrance that can be lost in the everyday. For some people, this means a holiday. For some people, it’s a chance to reconnect with loved ones without distraction. For some people, time off is alone time. One way or another, we do need the ability to replenish our energy stocks when they are depleted and paradoxically, in order to do that, we actually need to do more and not do less.
There is a difference between switching off completely from the world in an attempt to recharge and actually recharging by doing something dynamic. Numbing thoughts and feelings, whilst it may feel like a relief at the time, doesn’t actually help; it simply perpetuates or momentarily delays the feeling of low energy stress, tiredness, lethargy, or anxiety. Going to a new place, getting away, and throwing yourself into new activities and new people focuses on engagement rather than disengagement and this is where the magic of genuine healing and empowerment lies. We simply cannot gain energy from doing nothing. “Nothing comes from nothing”, right?
So what’s the magical answer here that everyone is looking for with regards to work and time off? The answer here is balance. Work hard, and then escape off to a retreat with your family, where the kids can learn something new in an environment that isn’t school, and couples can reconnect in an environment that isn’t their kitchen. Health is about wellbeing and wholeness, and to really embrace our lives to the fullest we have to bridge that gap between mind and body with retreats and activities that engage them both.
Healing is not just about sticking yourself back together when you feel broken, it should be primarily about maintenance. Don’t wait until you’re bursting at the seams before you take a break. Take a break before that point so that it can be enjoyed to its fullest potential.
To read more from Anjali visit www.anjalismitter.com/blog
or follow Anjali on Instagram instagram.com/anjali.s.mitter/
The main image at the top of this post is El Lago Verde, El Golfo, Lanzarote.
One of many great locations here for reconnecting with the environment. El Lago Verde (The Green Lake) is in El Golfo, a small coastal town of approx 200 inhabitants, sitting on the south-west edge of Timanfaya National Park. This emerald-green lake, given its setting, gives the feeling of being on a planet far from Earth. The green lake is actually a lagoon lying on the crater of a volcano born from the huge eruptions that took place in Lanzarote around 1730. The crater was flooded to form the lagoon and is still connected to the ocean via underground cracks which results in it maintaining its water flow and level.
The striking contrast of the emerald green water, against the black volcanic rock and vibrant blues of the Atlantic Ocean has to be seen, it is truly out of this world!
The green colour is due to the combination of seagrass algae and sulphur. The area is now a protected nature reserve so swimming in the lake is prohibited.
A long time ago – One Million Years BC – during the Palaeolithic era, Raquel Welch emerged from these green waters. Well, actually it was 1966 and for some people (old enough to remember) it may well be a scene still imprinted on their minds!
Many filmmakers have used this location for an array of films, including the spaghetti western ‘Take a Hard Ride’ (1975), the sci-fi film ‘Enemy Mine’ (1985) and ‘La Iguana’ (1988), based on the novel by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa.
More recently, in 2008, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar used it as a setting for a romantic scene between Penélope Cruz and Lluís Homar in ‘Broken Embraces’ (2009). When Almodóvar was asked about this choice as the location he stated…
“The volcanic origin of Lanzarote turned the journey into an exciting and emotional inner journey. For me, it wasn’t simply a landscape, it was more a state of mind, a character”.
The image below is of Los Hervideros, the name refers to natures grand display that sees the Atlantic Ocean drive water into the labyrinth of caves with such a power it appears as if the sea is boiling. This coastal area towards El Golfo is turbulent, sometimes producing heavy swells that smash against the volcanic coastline creating displays of spray many metres into the air, accompanied by the loud roar of the ocean. This display can be viewed from above whilst navigating the pathways in the volcanic cliffs.