We Kiwis might have a reputation for being laid back, but after conducting our very own research into the motivations, interests and barriers of New Zealanders taking short breaks, we’ve discovered that we’re not too great at taking them!
Our ‘NeedaBreak’ report found that in 2016, 1 in 5 New Zealanders failed to take a single short break!
The stress levels of those surveyed varied, but 65% were in agreement that they were feeling some level of stress. The causes of this stress ranged from ‘work’ (62%) to ‘finances/money’ (57%) and ‘family issues’ (36%).
Over 41% of those surveyed attributed ‘work’ as the main reason why they could not take a break. So what are the risks to your health if you don’t stop and make time for a short getaway this year?
Stress is a killer. It has negative impacts on our physical wellbeing, leaving us more prone to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes among other illnesses. But it also has huge repercussions on our mental health, including levels of anxiety and the stability of our mood.
Psychologists and doctors are now warning that our work-obsessed culture is at crisis point, and it is increasingly common to see patients developing severe mental health problems after going years without holidays.
While many people are concerned about taking a holiday from work because they’re aware of looming deadlines, or are concerned they’ll appear less dedicated than their colleagues, taking a break can actually improve our performance back in the office. Previous studies have shown that over a 5 year period, if people work 55-hour work weeks instead of a 40-hour work week, they will have lower cognitive function, and reduced vocabulary and reasoning. Taking a relaxing break gives you time to sleep and engage in activities you actually enjoy. It can also give you a fresh outlook and the ability to come back energised and ready to solve problems in new ways.
With work being such a commanding factor in the ‘Need A Break’ report for stress levels and a major barrier to taking short breaks, over half (55%) of Kiwis said that they had a better balance in their life and were better able to manage their stress as a result of going on a short break.
Break-down in relationships
Taking a holiday with your partner or family gives you time away from your day-to-day stresses and the conversations about work and chores, and instead reminds you to laugh, enjoy yourself, and reconnect with what’s important in your life.
The ‘Need A Break’ report highlighted that across the population, most felt happier after a short break and more than a third (37%) felt a closer connection with their family (partner and/ or children).
Travelling to a new place and trying out new experiences boosts self-confidence and creativity, and presents us with new challenges and enables us to adapt the way we respond to those challenges. Taking a holiday with your loved ones puts you in a position where you’re sharing new experiences and working together to overcome new challenges, which helps you to strengthen your bond.
For relationships to be long-lasting, dynamic and bring excitement to your life, you need to ensure you invest in them, and what could be a better investment than a well-deserved break?