Lifestyle Hacks For a Smarter Holiday

Damian King - the founder of Impact LIfestyle kicks things off this week, with a guide on how to effectively hack your way to a more productive and relaxing holiday. Allowing you to return feeling refreshed and able to jump back into your normal routine without experiencing the dreaded “Holiday Hangover”.

Most people get the whole holiday and vacation thing all wrong. If the purpose of a holiday is to unwind and relax; sitting in the Emirates Lounge at 7 am scoffing champagne and pain au chocolat is not going to get your holiday off to the right start. Neither will it put you in the right frame of mind, or provide you with the correct energy source needed to fuel your day. 

The most effective travel “hack” is to simply stay hydrated at all times. When traveling for any length of time, hydration is your biggest ally. It warns off hunger, prevents tiredness and allows you to perform better cognitively. 

After years spent traveling around the world, often on less than desirable modes of transport. I have learnt how to travel without it impacting my routine too much.  But, even I succumb to the temptations of modern travel every once in a while. The secret is to find a balance that works for you

What’s your biggest vice on holiday?

I travel in style - notice the missing windows and lights.

INFLIGHT THERAPY

Get bored on flights? Treat your flight as an opportunity to do the things that you never get around to doing. And, that doesn’t mean work-related tasks or changing your utility suppliers. Take a pencil & pad to sketch, read a random book - outside from your normal interests, or write down some hobbies and interests that you had as a child and compare them to what you currently do. It sounds basic but you would be surprised how your mind works at 36,000ft.  

BREAK FROM THE NORM

Leave objects and belongings associated with work at home. This allows you to detach yourself from any form of association to your life back home and, more importantly, the office. The objective is to create a physical separation from the office - it will help to free you up and clear your mind. Leave your phone packed away and only check it if you really have to, and only at certain points of the day. Remember this is a holiday.  

FREE YOUR MIND

Trigger the right-hand side of your brain, which controls non-work-related tasks, like relaxing and unwinding. It is reported that it can take up to 72 hours for you to reduce work-related thoughts and memories associated with everyday life. Reduce this time by practicing meditation and visualisation techniques at certain points throughout the day - Once in the morning and then again at lunchtime for ten minutes, will significantly reduce the time it takes you to relax and settle into holiday mode.

UNWIND YOUR BODY

It’s not just your mind that needs to unwind. Your physical posture, movement and mobility are a result of your lifestyle and actions.  Applying just a little structure to your lazy days not only means they are more special, but that you will see benefits that last after you unpack your suitcase. Studies show that going from a structured daily routine to having no routine can play havoc with your stress levels. Sleeping in can have a negative effect on your energy and that impacts your ability to relax. Your day doesn’t need to be rigid, but having a structure will enable you to use your time wisely and that in itself will stop you from stressing out about wasting precious holiday time.

EMBRACE YOUR SENSES  

Often forgotten and, at the very least, taken for granted. Revisiting our five primary senses can provide a sense of humility, appreciation and gratitude. You needn’t be a 'tree-hugging vegan' to appreciate the amazing gifts that many of us take for granted. Take a moment to consciously feel the sand beneath your feet, the sound of birds or the crashing waves of an ocean. If you are one of the lucky ones to have all five senses available to you, imagine if you were to lose one or possibly more. It is easy to get caught up in life and fail to appreciate the little things in life.

THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF STRATEGY

Holiday stress for many high achievers is a result of a lack of structure and control. Successful entrepreneurs and City high flyers never fail to implement effective strategies in the workplace so, why should a holiday be any different? Once again we stress the importance of balance. Going from a strict managed diary to no structure at all destabilises your body's stress levels. You may think that doing nothing and having no fixed agenda is the best way to unwind, but the reality is quite different. You don’t need to be a drill sergeant about it, but thinking out a “plan of purpose” will give you a structure that will allow you to really enjoy your holiday.   

DIET AND EXERCISE

For some, exercise and a healthy balanced diet is a way of life. For others, it can be a chore. A relaxing holiday should be about downtime and enjoying yourself but, if your primary objective is to go on holiday and come back energised and relaxed, then maybe you need to pay attention to balance. 

However convinced you are that a whole food diet, exercise and hydration (particularly important in a hot climate) are essential to an amazing and fulfilled lifestyle, many of us use a holiday as an excuse to gorge on food that is high in salt, sugar and preservatives, drink alcohol to excess and stop exercising altogether. 

It's not that hard to switch to a mindset that sees holiday time as an ideal opportunity to take the best possible care of yourself and reinforce healthful habits rather than 'escape' from them. And, the best news is that with new and beautiful natural surroundings to explore and local produce and delicacies to discover, it's easy and fun to transform your break into "Dynamic Downtime". 

Damian King - Founder of Impact Lifestyle

Hey guys, I have my personal site here which I'm going to blog mostly about travel, approaching the big 40 and anything else I fancy really. I am trying to find my own balance between work-related writing which I love, but also writing for writing's sake. simply getting my thoughts down on paper. Being a commentator of the modern man as I like to put it. 

One word that has been playing in my mind for a very long time - AUTHENTICITY

Help spread the love and get our message across by shouting us on Twitter or liking our rather sleek looking new Instagram account. Also, don't forget we have a closed Facebook group exclusively for men where we discuss all things lifestyle and personal development.