Belfast Telegraph

10 reasons why holidays are good for you

"I really need a holiday!"

How often have you said that? Perhaps ‘need’ is a bit strong, but holidays really are good for our physical and mental health. Here's why.

1. Many people in this part of the world are deficient in Vitamin D because of the low levels of sunlight we experience; a deficiency which can be made worse by the many hours we spend indoors. Basking in summer sunshine allows us naturally to boost our levels of Vitamin D. So slip on protective clothing, slap on a hat and slop on the suncream and enjoy that sunshine … safely!

2. Freed from routine worries and with no alarm clock to blast you out of bed each morning, you can really catch up on rest while you are on holiday. The extra physical activities you’ll undertake – swimming in that beautiful pool, strolling by the sea or exploring – will also make you physically tired and able to nod off contentedly.

3. Spending quality time with family and friends will make you – and them – happier! Getting loved-up with your partner and enjoying an extra cuddle with the kids actually releases the 'happy hormone', oxytocin.

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4. Workaholic? Forget about it! A holiday provides the perfect opportunity to reassess and realign your work-life balance.

5. Open your mind to new experiences and you’ll feel refreshed and re-energised. You may be a long way from the conventional classroom but, when you travel, every day can be a school day. Be prepared to broaden your mind as you broaden your horizons, absorbing as much as you can about your new environment.

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6. Getting close to nature makes you feel better emotionally, and contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Simply sitting and calming absorbing the beauties of your chosen holiday haven will give you a boost, but those benefits soar when you get active amidst the awe-inspiring!

7. Take a holiday from technology. Okay, you may want to capture a few Instagram memories while you are on vacation, but do you really need to stay glued to your phone or tablet? We think not. Better to expand your real social network with new friends made on your travels.

8. Your diet can actually improve on holiday. You may indulge in a few extra treats (or cocktails) but try to resist the urge to splurge and opt for fresh fruits and salads, healthy local menus and the lighter cuisine that seems so appetising in a warm climate.

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9. Meeting new people from different cultures and generally stepping outside your usual comfort zone will help you to look at the world in a different way. Coping with the challenges of travel and absorbing those exciting experiences will also boost your confidence.

10. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Start your journey at Belfast Telegraph Holiday World at TEC, Belfast, January 17-19 2020.

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