How to embrace the Summer at home
Restrictions and guidelines over the past few months might’ve impacted plans you’d have usually made over summer, but before you rush to cancel your planned annual leave why not take some time off for yourself?
If you feel anxious about taking your annual leave, you’re not the only one. In fact, research reveals that even before the pandemic, 25% of Brits didn’t take all the time off they were entitled to.
Lots of those fortunate enough to still be working will be finding themselves in this position. Whilst you might not be able to use your holiday as you would’ve in previous years, there are still plenty of ways – and benefits – to spending that time off well.
‘Think about all the devices you have access to – from your phone to your computer. Have you ever noticed that they have idle or hibernate functions?’ says Life Coach and Personal Trainer, Andrew Harris.
‘This function saves battery life,’ he explains. ‘Humans are the same – if our bodies and minds are switched on in ‘work’ mode 24/7, it results in slower performance as well as mood changes.’
Here’s how you can make the most of your annual leave at home:
Get a good night’s sleep
This might sound like a simple suggestion but sleep could be the secret to your best annual leave yet.
Working from home can provide us with some difficulties when it comes to sleep. A lack of routine, irregular days, stress and having your work space invade your home can all affect your shut eye.
A break from work could be the perfect time to get your sleep routine back to its best. What’s more, a good night’s sleep is ‘proven to be beneficial for both body and mind’ explains Euan MacLennan, Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs and Medical Herbalist at an NHS practice in London.
‘Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy bugs and germs,’ he says. ‘Importantly it helps your body remember the bugs so they can fight them off even quicker in the future. Sleep also helps to reduce stress, support mental wellbeing and improve heart health’.
Having a hot drink before bedtime can really help you to unwind. Try Pukka Herbs Organic Night Time tea to help make the most of your sleep during your time off. Small, simple changes to your daily routine and bedtime habits can help you to get a better night's sleep the natural way.
Take a digital detox
Often checking our phone, our social media or our emails is a habit we fall into all too easily; we find ourselves reaching for our devices without thinking about it.
Venetia La Manna, podcaster, broadcaster, and creator of ‘offline 48’ explains why creating boundaries with our phones, particularly when taking time off, could be beneficial.
‘Switching off your phone for a few hours, or simply leaving it at home when you go out for exercise is a great way to get some headspace and feel less resilient on your device,’ says Venetia. ‘When you’re detoxing, try to spend at least the first hour of your day without your phone. This is a great time to enjoy a little home yoga, meditation or reading.’
Spend time with friends and family
Increasingly, the stresses of the modern world get in the way of us spending quality time with family and friends, and this has been even more difficult with lockdown restrictions.
Studies have shown that social connection – whether it comes from friends or family members – is strongly associated with better mental and physical health. So, with limitations beginning to relax now could be the perfect opportunity to book in some time with those closest to you.
Plan a staycation
With uncertainty surrounding travel to foreign countries there's now no better time to explore the beauty that lies on our doorstep. Countryside locations or picturesque villages are emerging as top destinations with campsites and caravans cited as the most likely accommodations.
Scientists suggest that breathing in phytoncides – airborne chemicals produced by plants – increases our levels of white blood cells, helping us fight off infections and diseases. There has truly never been a better time to get outside and enjoy the natural world.
If you can't get out to enjoy the great outdoors why not bring some sunshine into your home or garden with Pukka's Golden Goddness turmeric cocktail, a taste of summer in a glass.
If you’ve binged on all your favourite TV shows, made it to the bottom of your reading list or are starting to feel a little fidgety then taking annual leave might feel scarier than it should. Many people wonder if time off is ‘pointless’ with nothing much planned in but learning something new is a really good way to use some of the time we have and challenges our brains.
Recent research suggests that learning new skills stimulates the neurons in the brain and helps to improve performance. There’s a huge volume of free tutorials, apps and resources to take advantage of too, now is the perfect time to try something you’ve never had the time for previously.
Author: Jo Webber
Head of Herbal Education
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
Years of experience:
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association