August Bank Holiday officially brought the UK summer holiday season of 2017 to a close and phew what a scorcher it was! Did you get away on vacation or just hang around on a staycation? Whatever you did, chances are that this week has a touch of the ‘back to school’ feeling about it.
Hopefully you will be feeling relaxed, refreshed and raring to go, but of course this is one of the fantasies of the summer holiday we are quick to buy into – the notion that somehow a week or two escape will wash away all those stresses and strains inflicted on us by the extended daily grind. As such, it is likely that in offices up and down the land what many really need after their summer holiday is… a holiday.
Once in a blue moon we will have the perfect summer break but all too often we fall victim to the same old summer holiday myths:
1) Getting Away From it All
That’s what we are all striving for in a summer holiday. Getting away from the office, the commute, the clients, the work… Of course getting away from it all is not as straight forward as it sounds. There is no magic switch to flick on and off and so consequently trying to forget work takes some time. And let’s not forget that the stress does not melt away, it just manifests in different ways as anybody using an international port of embarkation (or staying at home with the kids) will recognise. For many of us, by the time those knots of tension have started to soften and you have begun to adapt to your lazy day routine, the end of the holiday is nigh!
2) Getting Away From the Crowds
The big dream for us all is to find the perfect deserted beach/field/bar to sit and let those waves of relaxation wash over you. Forget it! Inevitably your holiday destination is teeming with other people with the same idea and that makes for a crowd. This consequently requires you to scrap for space everywhere you go (and if there is a deserted beach, the locals will already have colonised it!).
3) Having a Break From Technology
‘Just the tonic’, we murmur as we book a week away in a remote location where the scenery is stunning, and the technology will struggle to get reception. Of course the reality is always an uncomfortable reminder of just how addicted we are to our devices and the digital drip feed from a Wifi hub. The thing is, technology is not just about those work emails and updates. It’s the whole caboodle of news surfing, weather checking and social media indulgence. The result is therefore stress, frustration and the depressing realisation that your phone pinging as you re-enter a reception zone is what really sets your holiday serotonin levels racing!
4) Having a Break From the Commute
No, you won’t have to get up at some unearthly Groundhog hour to sit in traffic or battle for a seat on the daily commute. However, you have to go through the same old rigmarole, just in a strange town and almost certainly sweating more profusely. Unfortunately, on your summer holiday, you are part of a migrating herd that must pass through the clogged arteries of transportation systems worldwide.
5) A Change is as Good as a Rest
Yes, that’s what they say…
The good news is that you now have a whole year to forget about the inconvenient truths of the summer holiday, perhaps in the same way that mothers are programmed to forget about the ordeal of childbirth. Probably around Christmas the bad memories will fade and the wishful thinking will return. In the meantime, try to embrace that back to school feeling. Despite all the public grumbling, going back to work, the old routine and the familiar stresses is all too often like slipping back into the comfort zone…
Luan de Burgh
Luan de Burgh is a speaker, writer and founder of de Burgh Training – a specialist business communication training provider dedicated to helping people perform at their highest potential.