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How does your holiday start?

foto blog juli 2019

How does your holiday start?

by Anniek Oost

For many people the summer holidays are about to begin. And with it comes that familiar itch. Many of us are counting the days! 

But before that, there is often still an enormous amount of work to do, which is a rather uninviting prospect. Most people want to catch up on all the work, so they can go on holiday without qualms. But even when they succeed, the idea that there will be a pile of work waiting for them when they come back can get on many people’s nerves. Even with a replacement, it’s not always a matter of course that all the work will be taken care of during your absence. And as a result, most people are quite busy, sometimes even right up to the start of their holidays, to get everything arranged and in order. Not what you would call a relaxed start of the summer holiday…

Ill during the holidays

For some people, this leads to illnesses at the beginning of their holiday. It’s often a sign of work-related stress and finding it hard to let go. One has worked really hard right until the end and all of a sudden, all that pressure and stress is gone. The moment you start to relax, your body clearly tells you how strenuous that previous period has been. It may come out of the blue, but quite likely your body has given you signals before, during the days or weeks leading up to the holiday. At that time, you may have decided to continue doggedly, but once on holiday, you cannot deny it anymore. You get sick.


In order to change things, it’s important to create awareness about how these things work for you. If you don’t think about it consciously, chances are that it simply happens to you, all the running and flying, work pressure and stress involved in the run up to the summer holidays. As soon as you realize how this works for you, you can make a conscious decision to change something.

The next questions can help you create awareness of how this works for you:

  • How do you start those last weeks before the holiday? Are you freaking out and working really hard or are already adopting a relax mode those weeks?
  • What do you expect and demand from yourself and your environment?
  • To what extent are you ticking off lists in your head of everything that still needs to be done?
  • To what extent are you thinking of what will await you after your holiday?
  • What signals is your body giving you?

Start your holiday differently

Understanding results in other options to choose from. Some weeks or sometimes even months before my holiday, I already consider what I need to be relaxed when I go on holiday. I ask myself a number of questions:

  • Which tasks need to be addressed?
  • Which tasks have less priority?
  • Who can help me?

I make sure I don’t set the standards too high, as such unrealistic expectations only make matters worse. A few days before my holiday I free up my agenda so I have the time to finalise the last few things and pack everything at leisure. In that way, I start my holiday feeling relaxed. Any worries I may have I deliberately ignore and I consciously choose to relax. As a result, my holiday starts right on day 1. Even the journey to our destination becomes a relaxed affair, as my holiday has already started.

Interested to find out how you can achieve a better work-life balance for yourself or with your team? In collaboration with ODS, Anniek provides coaching and training, so you can enjoy more energy at work ánd at home. Ask about the possibilities by sending an email to

Anniek Oost is vitality consultant at ODS and runs her own business. Her company coaches employers and employees in experiencing more energy at work ánd at home, so they can enjoy the things in life more that really matter to them. From now on, Anniek will be writing regularly for ODS, providing great practical tips for more energy at work and at home.

Anniek Oost Personal and Performance-oriented Coaching