How to Switch Off from Work on Holiday

By Linda RoperDecember 20, 2022

People often use holiday time to relax, but it can be difficult not to feel connected to work during a break. You may be tempted to check emails, send messages, or make calls. You may even feel a sense of guilt for taking time off when others are working.

If you find it hard to disconnect while on holiday, you're not alone. Thankfully, we've rounded up our top tips on how to switch off from work on holiday to help you achieve the perfect balance and recharge:

  1. Change Your Mindset About Taking Time Off from Work

  2. Set Clear Boundaries with Your Boss or Clients

  3. Take a Break from Your Smartphone and Social Media

  4. Be Mindful of Any Subconscious Work Routines You May Have

  5. Exercise to Clear Your Mind

  6. Make Time for Restorative Activities that Aren't Related to Work

  7. Connect With Nature

  8. Set Up an Autoresponder for Your Emails

  9. Prepare Yourself Before You Go on Holiday

Suitcases at the airport in front of window with plane taking offChange Your Mindset About Taking Time Off from Work

If you're worried about taking time off work, remind yourself that it's not a sign of laziness. Everyone needs a break from their job at some point, and it's important to take care of your mental health.

When you're trying to switch off from work during your holiday, think about what makes you happy in the first place. Maybe it's the outdoors or the chance to catch up with friends and family? Whatever it is, try and make sure these things are included in your holiday plans. It will help ensure that this isn't just an opportunity for relaxation, but also an enjoyable experience overall.

Set Clear Boundaries with Your Boss or Clients

If you're worried about work responsibilities during your holiday, it's important that you set clear boundaries with your boss or clients. Explain that you're taking time off and that you'll be unavailable for any work-related issues. Additionally, inform them of the dates when you'll be away and when you expect to return.

This will help ensure that your holiday isn't interrupted by urgent requests or problems at work - and also demonstrates respect for both yourself and those people who rely on your services.

Take a Break from Your Smartphone and Social Media

Woman scrolling trough images on her phoneOne of the biggest reasons we feel like we should be working on holidays is because of our reliance on our smartphones. We check them all day long and it's hard not to think about work when we're glued to a screen. Even if you decide not to check your email app, there may be constant reminders of work through social media.

So, how do you cut out this constant stream of information? Take a break from email, social media, and other apps that remind you of work. You might want to turn off your phone entirely and go out with friends or family instead.

If you can't do that, try to limit the time you spend on these apps. Set an alarm to remind yourself when it's time to actually focus on enjoying your holiday. After all, no one wants to take time away from the office, only to spend it staring at a screen all day.

Be Mindful of Any Subconscious Work Routines You May Have

When you are working, your brain is finely tuned to the tasks at hand. It can take some time for your mind to recalibrate and get back into holiday mode.

Therefore, it’s important to not fall into any subconscious work routines when you're on holiday, such as checking emails or answering calls. Additionally, try to be aware of any work-related thoughts that come into your mind and make a conscious effort to push them aside as soon as they arise.

Remember, there will be plenty of time to think about work once your holiday is over.

Exercise to Clear Your Mind

Woman exercising to keep fitIn order to switch off from work, try exercising to clear your mind. Exercise is great for relieving stress and reducing tension in the body. It can also help you sleep better at night.

Try going for a walk or run, taking a yoga class, or working out at the gym. You might even use your time off work to establish healthier exercise habits that will continue well beyond your holiday.

You should also make time for activities that aren't related to work. Reading a book, listening to music, and doing meditation are all great ways to relax and switch off.

Doing something creative can also help you feel refreshed. Why not try painting, pottery, or cooking a new recipe? You might even want to take up a hobby that can be done during your time off. For example, if you enjoy photography or playing an instrument, use your time off work to develop these skills further.

Connect With Nature

Switch off from work by connecting with nature. Being in nature is a great way to forget about the stresses of the office and relax, so when you're on holiday, take some time out for it. Go for a walk or hike, go swimming or snorkelling in the ocean, or go on a camping trip with your friends or family.

Being in nature also has a lot of other benefits. It can help reduce stress, improve your mood and self-esteem, and make you feel more connected with the world around you. This is especially beneficial for those who spend countless hours each week working indoors at a desk.

Set Up an Autoresponder for Your Emails

It's also a good idea to set up an autoresponder that will answer routine emails—such as those inquiring about your services—while you're away from the office.

This way, people who need responses won't have to wait too long for their questions or concerns to be addressed. Doing so will also put your mind at ease, helping you to switch off on holiday more successfully.Man holding phone while answering emails

Prepare Yourself Before You Go on Holiday

In order to switch off from work, you need to be prepared. This is your chance to get organised and ensure that everything is ready for when you return.

Start by making sure all work emails are answered before you leave. If there’s anything that needs your attention in the office while you’re away, try having a colleague do it instead if others will be remaining in the office. For example, if you're running a busy finance team, using an automated expense management software like ExpenseIn, which allows you to delegate approvals when you are out of the office, will ensure you go on holiday prepared.

Happy Holidays!