Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog post about holidays

Before I went on holiday last summer, I read this inspiring post (in Dutch) about how you can keep that "holiday feeling" a longer.

That feeling was described as:
"This feeling is associated with peace, energy, creativity, inspiration and relaxation"

This made me realize how much I actually need a holiday every now and then. As a salaried employee of my university, I am entitled 41 working days of paid leave per year (yes, that's not a typo, and that's quite common for us here).

As I had read this article before I left, I decided I would pay closer attention to how precisely I was feeling before and after my (relatively short and very full holiday).

I left completely exhausted. In fact, I fell asleep before my plane took off and slept through most of my 10 hour flight.

Now that I've been back to research for one week, I clearly noticed how taking a break positively influenced my abilities. My thinking is clearer, my attention span longer and my focus sharper. Even though I find it hard to stop and rest for a while, this should be a reminder for the upcoming (crazy-busy) months.

As a result of this, I decided I will take the recommendations of that post and put them into practice. Here's a brief summary of that advice:
- do something new once per week
- take enough breaks
- go outside
- turn off your phone/mail/twitter/facebook
- surround yourself with that holiday feeling

I'll be writing in 1 or 2 months to describe how I could savor my holiday feeling a little longer.

A personal note: I wrote my holiday was rather short (10 days) but very full. In fact, it was filled with the PhD defense of my boyfriend, my birthday, a lot of partying and our engagement.


  1. Sounds great! Congrats on your engagement!

    Am just back from my own vacation and am looking forward to your report on how to keep the feeling longer. I was away for a week to a remote fishermen village, with incredibly limited connection to the outside world - I really felt like a different person of different times. I would like to keep THAT feeling but being back in the jungle now, it's nearly impossible :)

  2. Thanks!
    So far, I've done a few minor things:
    - cutting back on coffee and chocolate
    - spending more time to unwind in the evening
    - train my back muscles in the gym to make them stronger in order to beat the pain I get from working in the lab
    - keeping a stress-free state of mind

    Minor things, mostly, but that stress-free state of mind is a winner (hope I can keep it up) and I've been sleeping very well since I got back (which is an indicator for my stress-levels)