Beating holiday stress and blues
You’ve waited a long time for this – a wonderful two weeks or more in the sunshine, relaxing by the pool, beach parties or just basking in the sun, but there is always some nagging doubt at the back of your mind, whether it’s a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done or just getting back to those pesky emails? Let’s face it, we all need a break from the day to day tasks that wear us down. What ever you choose to do invariably holiday stress gets in the way of having a good time. Here are a few tips to managing your time before and after your great escape…
BEFORE YOU GO…
Set up an out of office reply on your emails, and compile a list of useful numbers in case of any issues, such as your bank and phone provider. Consider a house sitter to look after your home while you are away and organise pet care. If going away for a long time, redirect your mail or ask a neighbour to pick it up and pay bills that will be due. Finally, turn off any heating, set your alarm system and light timers and lock your doors and windows securely. Make lists of pre-holiday jobs and tick them off, don’t try to hold everything in your head.
Check that your passport is up to date – for some countries such as Kenya your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry and you need two blank pages in your passport. UK nationals can check travel requirements for each country at Gov.UK and also apply for a free European Health Card, aka the EHIC on the NHS website. Consider a house sitter to look after your home while you are away and organise pet care. If going away for a long time, redirect your mail or ask a neighbour to pick it up and pay bills that will be due. Finally, turn off any heating, set your alarm system and light timers and lock your doors and windows securely. Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may overhear and definitely watch what you post on all your Social media accounts. Don’t advertise that you will be away from home for a few days, a week or a fortnight.
WHILE YOU ARE AWAY
Use the time to relax, be with your family and friends and do what you enjoy most, in fact many people find that when away the office, they come up with creative solutions to work problems.
ON YOUR RETURN
If possible, plan to get home at a decent hour or even give yourself a day or two if you need to turn your clock around. This ensures that you will have ample time to deal with laundry, unpacking, tired kids, grocery shopping, and any last minute items that may crop up. It is always helpful to have a meal or two at your disposal upon your return so you don’t have to rush out to the grocery store. Many families find milk a pressing purchase. Leave yourself an unopened carton of the lactose free variety which tends to have quite an extended expiry date. Make sure there is something in the freezer that you can pull out and heat up on a minute’s notice.