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The Importance Of a Summer Family Break

Everybody needs some time away from the daily grind. We all live busy lives at work, home and school and with the pressures of day to day life, there is often too little time to relax and communicate properly with our loved ones.
Weekends are often filled with extra curricular activities and catching up with paperwork at home or chores. Holidays are necessary to get a break from the routine, from Lakeside holidays in lush countryside to beach breaks abroad but did you know just how beneficial a family break could be?

Benefits To You

Family holidays can trigger happy chemicals in your brain. The happy chemicals of opioids, oxytocin and dopamine can reduce your stress levels. We all have an element of stress in our lives. The process of meeting deadlines, making decisions and managing a household all add to our stress levels. This stress can affect our physical and mental health. It can reduce our ability to fight off illness, cause insomnia and negatively affect our digestive system. We can become irritable and anxious and experience a decrease in memory function. Holidays help to break this stress cycle and clear our minds. It gives us chance to get some perspective on our lives and priorities and allows us to relax.

The best kind of holiday for both body and mind is an active holiday where we can enjoy new experiences and challenges. Opportunities for learning and cultural immersion broaden our horizons and help us to move out of our comfort zone where we feel our greatest sense of achievement and boost in self esteem. Walks in green spaces calm the body and bring down our stress hormone levels. It can even reduce our blood pressure and cholesterol.

Most importantly, time away with family allows us to strengthen family ties and share special time together. Another feel good fact is that 49% of people say that looking back, their happiest memories are of family holidays.

Benefits To Your Children

One of the most important benefits to your child on holiday is uninterrupted time with you. Time at home is filled with homework, cleaning and cooking, in fact studies show that two thirds of conversation with parent and child is about daily routine. On holiday, parents are less likely to be focused on work and household duties and so can recharge their batteries and have the energy to focus on fun and playing.

Play such as ball games and jumping in waves is called ‘attachment play’ and is great for bonding and building a child's self esteem. Being outdoors in nature can boost your child's attention span and concentration after just 20 minutes. Adults have the opportunity to encourage a child's urge to explore on holiday and increase their capacity for play by introducing new creative tools and environments. Rock pools at the beach by the sea shore, campfires or bike rides through the woods are a gift to a child's imagination. All this social, physical, cognitive and sensory enrichment can even help to advance brain development in children.

To conclude, everyone should try and take some time out with family in the summer to reconnect and make memories. The great news is that the emotional, physical and social benefits of a holiday last beyond the journey home. We go back to our normal schedule feeling refreshed and clear headed and we can use holiday memories as an anchor to take us back to happier times when we are feeling under stress.

Ruby Daub

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