The holiday habits to continue when you get back home

A survey of Australians by Carnival Cruise Line identified four “holiday habits” people wished they kept when they returned home. Here’s how to do exactly that.

Sunrise on Carnival Spirit
Sunrise on Carnival Spirit

Holidays always offer a welcome change of scenery. But they also change us, as we tend to develop healthier habits, prioritise “me” time, and focus on what’s most important – friends, family, fitness, good food.

New research by Carnival reveals that when we’re away, we adopt beneficial strategies to relax and unwind. But when we return home, we often leave our “holiday self” behind.

Here are the four holiday habits people wished they could continue after their vacation is over.

Spending less time on screens

Between shore excursions, waterslides, spa treatments and live performances, there’s very little time to be on your computer or phone when you’re cruising with Carnival.

And getting away from your screen is doing you good, with studies showing that spending too much time online can lead to heightened stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are tips about how to reduce your screen time once you’re home…

  • Make a conscious decision to turn off screens while eating – this not only encourages discussions around the table, but also mindful eating 
  • Resist checking emails after work hours
  • Try banning phones in the bedroom. That blue screen light is proven to be bad for your health. Try reading a good book instead
  • Don’t use your device to alleviate boredom: exercise, audiobooks, music and other hobbies are a positive alternative
  • Swap online conversations for real-life catch-ups.

Sleeping better

You’ll likely find that when you put limits around your screen time, you’ll also sleep a lot better. This might be easy on holiday, with no alarm clocks or deadlines, and deck chairs beckoning for an afternoon snooze.

But when we disembark, we often revert to poor habits: checking emails during the night or scrolling through our social feeds at ungodly hours.

Getting adequate sleep is essential, allowing your body and mind to recharge, staving off illness and giving you a mental boost to concentrate and think clearly.

Once you’re back on dry land, try:

  • Avoiding chemicals that disrupt sleep, like caffeine and alcohol
  • Eating lighter meals in the evening
  • Staying active, but exercising earlier in the day
  • Taking a hot shower at the end of the day.

Keeping moving

When you’re on a cruise and not cooking meals, cleaning the house, dropping kids at sport or juggling work deadlines, you have more time to prioritise your health.

“Real life” can be all-consuming when you return, but try and make exercise a daily habit with these tips:

  • Set a time to work out so you can’t talk yourself out of it
  • Make it fun. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re less likely to avoid it
  • Make it social. Having a workout buddy also means it’s harder to skip exercise as someone else is relying on you
  • Mix it up. Diversity counteracts boredom.  

Eating out with friends and family

On a Carnival cruise, every meal is provided, which means your only job is to book a table at your favourite on-board restaurant with your favourite people and begin swapping notes from the day.

This is the easiest holiday habit to bring home: eating out is low-pressure as there’s really no preparation involved. You just need to be committed and make time in your diary.

Try locking in a regular catch-up with multiple people so you have plenty of advance notice, and will be less likely to cancel for fear of letting others down.