We’ve all felt that taking a regular holiday is good for our mind, body, and soul. And the good news is, there’s evidence to back that up. Not only can a holiday be great for your physical and mental health, but a new survey has revealed it can also help you be the person you want to be.
What are the benefits of taking a holiday?
The holiday benefits of lying on a sandy beach in the South Pacific, bushwalking in Tasmania, enjoying the food and wine of New Zealand, or snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef have always been clear to those doing those amazing things. And everyone knows taking time to visit your favourite places and get away from the rat race are great ways to de stress and relax. But there may be more to those holiday benefits than you imagined. Fun, relaxation, and discovery can do a lot for all aspects of your life including:
- Improving your physical self. From now on, a cruise, or any holiday, is on your doctor’s orders! Not only can a change of scenery change your habits and get you out and about, but taking a holiday more regularly may correlate with a lower risk of heart disease. If you ever needed an excuse to spend time away from work, this is the big one.
- Helping your mental health. When it comes to holiday benefits, this is another biggy. Studies have shown holidays can go a long way to improving your mental health. Removing yourself from day-to-day environments and activities that cause stress and anxiety helps you relax and fully enjoy you holiday.
- Making you happier. Spending quality time with your loved ones somewhere special can make you more satisfied with life. And it can even make you feel like a different person – someone you and your family prefer. More on that below.
What is a holiday alter ego?
A holiday alter ego is one of the surprising holiday benefits. And it’s easy to see why it’s so important. The bottom line is we feel like a different person when we’re on holiday – a better person. Perhaps the person we want to be. Research from Carnival Cruise Lines has made this pretty clear with a survey of Australian travellers. Being a person who is more fun, more relaxed, and more connected to our family is something we all want. About two thirds of Australians surveyed (64%) and even more parents (74%) said they actually prefer their holiday self over their regular self.
Why is a holiday important to us?
As we mentioned above, spending quality time with loved ones and time away from work while doing lots of fun things has a heap of holiday benefits, both mental and physical. And, importantly, those holiday benefits also extend to who we are. Embracing your holiday alter ego is important. In fact, it’s something we really like doing. According to Carnival research, 70% of Australians and 80% of parents feel like a different, happier person when on holiday. And the key to that is relaxation. A huge number of Australians (79%) believe that feeling relaxed is the key to embracing their holiday alter ego. This is followed by other important aspects of a holiday such as not having to work (49%) or do household chores (43%). About half of parents surveyed said that being able to keep the kids entertained is one of the big ways they can bring out their holiday alter ego.
Also, importantly, waking up with a new view every day (43%) is also a big deal in helping Australians reduce stress and be who they really want to be. So, going on holiday and experiencing new and different destinations helps us reduce stress and be the person we really want to be.
Are holidays good for mental health?
The science is pretty clear that one of the big holiday benefits can be an improvement in our mental health. But the good news is those holiday benefits don’t have to be limited to when you’re actually sunning yourself on a cruise ship or visiting a new or amazing location. Holidays have a beneficial affect before you depart and when you return. Studies have shown looking forward to your trip gives you hope and excitement. And reminiscing afterwards about the great time you had can also improve your happiness.
And when it comes to your holiday alter ego and habits, Australians want to bring them home after their trip. They want less screen time, more sleep, more exercise, and catch up with friends and family more over a meal. And half of Australian parents believe they have more patience for their kids while on holidays than they do at home, something they want to learn from.
Are holidays good for physical health?
Spending time exercising and eating great food can be a big holiday benefit, as long as you don’t over-exert on both! Importantly, studies have shown being away from work and taking time out can correlate to a reduction in high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Stress can do some bad things to your body, so it makes sense taking time to de stress can have some big holiday benefits.
Why are holidays good for families?
First and foremost, because they are a lot of fun! Making memories you and your family will cherish forever is perhaps one of the biggest holiday benefits. And what makes holidays fun is also pretty clear, according to our survey. More than two thirds of Australians said seeing and discovering new places is top of the fun list. And for parents, not having to cook is also important, especially when you get to eat your favourite foods. And, of course, for families, all the fun activities such as going on waterslides or spending time in pools ranks highly on their fun scale.
Importantly, three quarters of parents say they prefer their holiday alter ego over their regular self. And more than half of Australians (56%) and 72% of parents think their families prefer their holiday selves too.
Does a holiday help anxiety?
After a tough couple of years worrying about all sorts of things, a cruise holiday sounds like a pretty important thing to help you get back to where you want to be, physically and mentally.