Keeping your holiday mojo

Last updated 11:15 26/02/2008
Fairfax
MEMORIES: With the holiday afterglow wearing off before lunchtime on the first day back at work an Australian life coach has suggested ways to prolong the warm fuzzies.

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Within one week of returning from a holiday, more than 80 per cent of Australians feel like they never even left home in the first place, a new study has found.

 And, not only are we losing our holiday mojo, we might not be even getting it in the first place.

While four in five travellers have good intentions - craving a holiday that lets them switch off and unwind - when we return to the daily grind, the holiday feeling is quickly eaten up by our hectic lifestyles.

Life coach Kate James explains that holiday mojo is that feeling of inner-calm and vitality you can get from a very rewarding getaway.

"One reason for people losing their holiday mojo so quickly is because they undertake a holiday which doesn't fulfill them personally," James explains.

"People should consider destinations that offer interactive holiday experiences such as being outdoors and in wide open spaces.

"This can assist in helping people feel revitalised and reconnected on return," she says.

"This reconnection is an individual concept, it's something that has meaning to you - be that family, culture or getting back to nature."

Before locking in your next holiday, James encourages people to ask themselves the question: "What's really important to you?"

The Newspoll online survey, commissioned by Tourism NT, found that three quarters of respondents (who were able to select more than one option) felt that enjoying the great outdoors helped them feel reconnected. Seventy per cent enjoyed the benefits of wide, open spaces or isolation, and 75 per cent are searching for an experience that stimulates their mind, body and spirit.

"Australians are on the right track to enjoying a lasting holiday mojo if, during their holiday, they take some time for personal reflection, try to do something different from their day-to-day lives and don't cram too much in," James says.

"When you have figured out what makes you reconnect, you can bring this home and try and incorporate it into your daily life.

"Whatever you've identified that is really important to you - but just don't have the time for - make it happen."

Technology, says James, has made it harder for people to disconnect from their lives and to relax. In today's lifestyle, people are rarely ever disconnected with their mobile phones and laptops.

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"It's been exacerbated in the last decade or so, we've seen that people are working at a much faster pace and there's a lot of pressure around," she says.

"People are more stressed in work."

For this reason, she says, a two or three week holiday annually is "essential". Plus, playing with the idea of mini-breaks.

And don't think you need a huge budget to squeeze in some 'me-time'.

"Create a weekend that's a mini-break," says James.

"Just block yourself a weekend off and literally baton down the hatches. Don't see anyone, just do all the things that feel like they are restful for you.

"To re-charge your batteries regularly means that you're much less likely to suffer the long term affects of stress and you're more likely to be happy."

To help the process, James has come up with a top 10 list for finding your holiday mojo and maintaining it:

1. Be realistic about the lead up to your holiday. Allow plenty of time to pack and be organised so that you're not up to 2am the night before you leave trying to find your sarong/bathers/walking boots.
2. Plan ahead - have enough food in the house so that when you get home you can at least whip up a bowl of pasta without having to rush off out to the supermarket. Better still, set up home delivery of fresh food ahead of time.
3. Plan to arrive home from your holiday at least a day before you return to work. This will allow you time to reflect on your holiday and the experiences you've had. It will give you a chance to get back into your normal routine, and give you time to get your washing done.
4. Ease back into your work gently and prioritise your time. Answer only urgent e-mails on your first day back and make sure you leave on time. Take the time to go for a walk or swim during the day or in the evening to remember how you felt while you were on holidays.
5. Keep your holiday spirit alive by keeping a reminder of your holiday close to you. Create space in your diary to reflect on your experience in the weeks following your holiday.
6. Keep your connection with the great outdoors alive by having lunch in the park or organising a short weekend break or day trip so you can get out of the city.
7. Have a television-free night each week and slip into holiday mode instead - read a book or just turn out the lights and eat by candlelight.
8. Learn to relax everyday. Enrol in yoga, tai chi or meditation class so the practise of unwinding becomes a regular thing.
9. Become a tourist in your own home city or town.
10. Plan your next holiday.

- AAP

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