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Home / Advice / Anxiety / Lost holidays and restful break

Lost holidays and restful break

By: Barbara Mahon

Updated: 17 June 2020

Lost holidays and restful break

There’s no doubt about it, these months since COVID-19 restrictions began in Ireland have been challenging for us all, no matter what our circumstances. We’ve all been weathering the same storm, but we’ve each had to weather it in our own way.  The uncertainty that has permeated our society has caused increased levels of anxiety and stress. Emotional fatigue is a reality for many. Some of us have lost our jobs, while others feel under pressure to continue working without taking an extended absence from work. What we need is a break, some fun, some respite from the constant barrage of anxiety-provoking news headlines that we’ve all been subject to on a daily basis. Studies show that taking regular breaks and holidays is important for our health and wellbeing. It may seem tempting to continue working and to “save” the annual leave days and finances for a time when things are more open, but time away from work is essential to maintain resilience and prevent burnout.  When we’re tired, we become more irritable, problem-solving abilities are impaired and our productivity decreases. Holidays allow us to reset, relax and sleep better. The mental and physical health benefits are many; ranging from decreased blood pressure, better heart health, to an improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety. 


But given the current travel restrictions, what are our options this year? Many of us will have seen our holiday plans cancelled. Long hot days on foreign sands or hiking in exotic jungles will not be a reality this year for most of us. For those who have the means, holidaying on our own national shores is a great option.  Think about all the places in Ireland that you’ve never had a chance to visit before. You could be braving the Dursey Island Cable Car in West Cork, making friends with Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle, or surfing the waves on the Atlantic Coast. Think of activities or things you’ve wanted to learn or try, but never had the chance. From golfing to abseiling to sea kayaking; watercolours to archery; there’s lots to explore. With a bit of creativity, it’s possible to plan a fulfilling relaxing break whether solo, accompanied by a select group of friends, or family. 


For some however, taking an extended summer break is not on the cards for now. In that case, taking a day or two away from the usual routines is beneficial too. The last few months have seen us largely confined to our homes, but for many this has meant more time taking care of children or extra hours in front of a laptop. Taking a day’s leave to do as you please without the usual rigid confines of the working day will have a restorative effect. Think of the things you used to enjoy on a day off; a yoga class, pedicure or enjoying a nice lunch or coffee. These activities can be replicated at home using online resources and a bit of creativity. With kids as well as adults spending more time than ever in front of screens, a day off can also be an opportunity to get outdoors for the day, Irish weather permitting. With travel radiuses extended, you can now explore your entire county and perhaps even further afield, depending on where you are. Use this as an opportunity to explore sites you haven’t had a chance to before. Make it fun by having a competition to see who can take the best photo; bring a Frisbee or football for an impromptu game. And don’t forget to bring a picnic – food always tastes better outdoors. Having fun and enjoying nature will allow you to relax and recuperate, leaving you with renewed energy and resilience, which will allow you to be more productive and better able to deal with the stresses of day to day life. 


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By Barbara Mahon, Psychotherapist


 



MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITH Stress ISSUES:

Katarzyna Sowinska Psychologist Location: Online

Approach: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy , Person-Centred Therapy

Works with: Individual Session , Couples Session , Extended couples session

Specialities: Anxiety , Depression , Personal Development , Relationship issues , Self-Esteem , Stress

Next avaialble appointment: 16:00 02 December 2020

Eamon McDermott Psychotherapist Location: Dublin 8

Approach: Gestalt Therapy , Person-Centred Therapy

Works with: Individual Session

Specialities: Anxiety , Bereavement , Depression , Personal Development , Self-Esteem , Stress

Next avaialble appointment: 17:00 02 December 2020

Siobhan Keane Psychotherapist Location: Cork

Approach: Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy , Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Works with: Individual Session

Specialities: Anxiety , Bereavement , Depression , Relationship issues , Stress , Work Issues, Work/Life balance

Next avaialble appointment: 17:00 09 December 2020

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