Studies show that even a short weekend break can do wonders for your health, your outlook, your relationships and your productivity.
So whether your spontaneous getaway is of the social style with friends, for a little family bonding, to reignite with your lover or it’s a solo trip, the benefits are ripe for picking!
Check out these four top reasons to book a quick getaway pronto …
1. To boost your health and immune system
It’s not usually one of the reasons we book an overnight or weekend getaway, but it should be! Several studies have been conducted to ascertain whether changes in our environment can positively affect our immune cells. Other studies suggest that people who take regular holidays have reduced stress levels, which in turn helps nurture a healthier immune system. Stress can cause inflammation of the organs and lead to serious long term conditions, including blood disorders, digestive issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and more.
Short term, a weakened immune system can make us more susceptible to germs, illnesses and infections. We get sick more often and the recovery time is much longer than that of someone with a healthy immune system.
Now, a weakened immune system could be caused by many things, including genetics, serious illness and lifestyle factors, so it’s always best to discuss the causes with your GP. But, if your weakened immune system is caused by stress and lifestyle factors – burning the candles at both ends, poor diet, not enough sleep, stress – then a mini getaway could be just what the doctor ordered.
Switch your normal stressful environment for a calming and tranquil location, like the Hawkesbury, where you can nourish your body by eating freshly made local produce, relax in nature, get active with treks, horse riding or kayaking, destress or just sleep in!
2. To improve your outlook
Score that ‘happy holiday glow’ with a quick overnighter vacay out of town!’
Many studies show that doing things you love and enjoy not only reduces your stress but improves your mood and has other health benefits. Further, one study found that people who engaged in leisure activities were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad whilst doing activities they enjoyed.
Think about your happy factor – what makes you smile? Stargazing from the wilderness (without the city lights and pollution)? Horse riding? Kayaking? Reading? Floating down a river on a houseboat? Meditating? Yoga? Knitting? Sudoku? Doing nothing!
Sometimes we just need to ‘switch off’ and a mini break away provides the perfect environment to give your mind, body and soul a little TLC. Nourish your personal needs and your mood, happy factor and outlook will benefit exponentially.
3. To nurture your relationships
If your romance factor of late has been a little lack lustre, a night or two away could reignite your spark! Switching off from the world, technology, life… and enjoying quality time together is something that is often neglected in the ‘day to day’ of life.
Use a getaway to reconnect. Set up camp on the riverbank and eat local produce. Talk about your dreams while the sun sets over the water. Go to bed – or your swag - early and wake up late. Spoil each other with love and affection.
Nourish those relationships too! Take a walk through the bushland as a family. Explore the region and make new discoveries together. Be still… and watch the local birds and wildlife appear. Smell the gum leaves. Watch the kangaroos at dusk. Take a kayak ride together down the river. Be together, listen, love and be ‘in’ the moment.
4. To boost your productivity
If you want to be more focused and efficient, you just need to look at Mother Nature! There are numerous studies which demonstrate the emotional and psychological benefits of exposure to nature. In a University of Melbourne study led by Kate Lee, researchers found that interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second ‘microbreak’ that involved viewing nature scenes from an urban setting (seeing plants, parks, trees or ‘green’ building roofs) - improved focus on the task.
To really amp your productivity, go for a walk through nature! Getting your circulation going helps make your more alert and decreases body tension. That, combined with the change of scenery, can give you a whole new perspective or possibly solutions to problems that may have been plaguing you.