THE typical Brit needs a break every 46 days, with a midweek mini-getaway the most popular, research has revealed.
A survey of 2,000 adults found their tiredness levels, effectiveness at work and general mood suffers if they wait any longer before enjoying a trip away.
A third also admit they find it harder to concentrate if they go without a holiday for too long.
However, those polled only manage to escape the daily grind every 57 days on average.
The study, commissioned by Original Cottages, found 62 per cent feel that going away midweek gives them a better break from work than if they go on weekends.
Psychologist and wellbeing expert, Dr Audrey Tang, said: “While it has traditionally been assumed a week-long break is essential for unwinding, the ‘little and often’ approach is likely to be more effective in keeping your energy tank topped up, compared with few and far between holidays.
"A ‘microbreak’ doesn’t exert extra pressure or expectation compared to a longer holiday and it allows people to recharge more often.
“Every break from routine is likely to give our brains a positive boost of energy through stimulating curiosity.
"Taking a break elsewhere in the UK also presents separation and a buffer against the effects of stress, as people can engage in things that boost their wellbeing, lowering levels of cortisol that are produced under pressure.”
The research revealed a third of respondents took at least three or more short breaks in the UK in the last year.
More than half have taken a short break midweek, with better value for money, less crowds and availability being better among the top reasons why.
And 30 per cent prefer to take regular short breaks in the year over one big holiday.
It also emerged those polled believe they feel well-rested, happier and less stressed as a result of taking a short UK break.
More than eight in 10 need a minimum of three days holiday to feel recharged, with 77 per cent believing that taking a break from work is an important boost to maintain positive wellbeing.
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES BRITS DO TO RECHARGE THEIR BATTERIES ON A SHORT BREAK:
1. Go for a walk
2. Relaxing by the sea
3. Dining out
6. Going to a gig
7. Attending a sports event
10. Water sports
While away on a break, going for a walk, relaxing by the sea and dining out were voted the top activities to do to recharge batteries.
Reading, hiking and going to a gig were also among the most popular things to do to feel better in general.
The survey, via OnePoll, found 56 per cent of adults get ‘really stressed at work’, but 53 per cent are happier once they have returned from a short break or holiday.
Six in 10 (61 per cent) typically go away with their partner on short UK breaks, with the seaside, countryside and lakes named the best places to go to recharge.
Sonia Holman, from Original Cottages said: “Shorter and more frequent breaks are essential to positive wellbeing, and as our research shows, the appeal of the microbreak is growing with over three-quarters of Brits planning to book more short breaks in the UK to recharge their batteries.
"We pride ourselves on offering guests the flexibility to choose the duration of their stay to suit their needs, offering them a great short stay experience and escape from everyday life.”
Dr Audrey Tang’s tips for enjoying a wellbeing UK microbreak
1. “Little and often” approach to energising
When you break from routine, the brain is stimulated by the new environment, and both curiosity and anticipation can give you a boost. Not only will a change of scenery do you good, but a change in atmosphere can work wonders for us biophilic humans, with sunlight stimulating Vitamin D and serotonin.
2. Quality time with friends
Booking a microbreak with friends means you can spend your evenings catching up, sharing experiences and your days making new memories – you don’t even need your socials because the people you love most are right there with you. Spending time with loved ones also generates oxytocin and endorphins, and because you’re already together, the stress of planning is removed.
3. See things with fresh eyes
Even when you walk a different route, you can take a moment to recognise and even photograph things from a different angle. Spending a couple of days in a different place can help you see things with fresh eyes, broadening your appreciation of life and offering you much needed head space which can come with physical distance.
4. Consider going “off grid”
Giving yourself permission to take a moment to stand and allow the beauty of the countryside, or the sea, or rolling hills to wash over you can bring a sense of wonder and magnitude – which in turn helps offer a new perspective. Having the freedom to look at the vastness of nature without constant distraction and demand can help you to “filter in” what really is important and recognise what you don’t need to devote your time and energy to.
5. New environments, new skills
It’s too easy to stick with old habits when we’re in our “same old” environment. Going somewhere new may give you the motivation to try those activities that you have always thought about, but never been brave enough, or had the opportunity to experience.
6. Fill your positivity reservoir with new memories
Positive Psychology has long since advocated that the more positive memories and experiences you create and savour, the better a buffer you build to the rollercoaster of the fast-paced 21st century. A switch up of your routine will give you a wealth of moments to bring to the conversation table whether as a tale to tell, or as an informal tour guide as your friends plan their getaway.
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