The Benefits of Taking a Break

Lachlan McDonald

I’ve just returned from a week away in Singapore, a long-awaited holiday with my family. I’m usually a fairly frequent traveller, getting away from home at least a couple of times a year, even if I’m not going very far. But due to all the disruption over the last couple of years, it has been a long time between trips, and I have sure felt the absence of travel during this time.

It wasn’t even that noticeable in the day to day, but I found that looking back, I could see just how different things had become for me. Sleep had started to become more problematic, I was eating more junk food than I’d like to, and making more trips to the cookie jar than I used to. I was less focussed, especially on the more tedious aspects of the job (I’m looking at you, paperwork!). And my motivation was more ebbing than flowing. All signs that I was in need of some time away.

Usually, a few days away can be enough for me to reset. Research has shown that even a short amount of time away from home and work can be beneficial, but I was lucky enough to get away for a week and a half, and it was just what I needed. I came back feeling more energised and motivated, I was sleeping better, and definitely just felt more myself.

So what does the research tell us about how taking a break can help us? Studies have shown that people who take regular holidays have:

  • Lower reported stress levels
  • Reduced levels of depression
  • A more positive outlook on life
  • More motivation to achieve goals
  • Improved family relationships
  • Less chance of burnout
  • More productivity at home and at work

Taking the chance to reset also reminded me of the other things that I haven’t been doing to support myself, like regular exercise, getting consistent acupuncture treatments, and taking time out to do something enjoyable, like mountain biking. Especially as we approach the end of the year where things can feel like they never slow down, making time for these supportive activities is especially important.

So, I hope you all take the opportunity to take a break over this summer, we sure all need it after the last couple of years.

To find out how acupuncture can help to get you feeling better and more yourself, feel free to contact me on 03 8774 5588 or at, or you can book an appointment here.


Blank, C., Gatterer, K., Leichtfried, V., Pollhammer, D., Mair-Raggautz, M., Duschek, S., Humpeler, E. & Schobersberger, W. (2018). Short vacation improves stress-level and well-being in German speaking middle managers: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(1):130. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010130.

Chen, Chun-Chu & Lai, Ying Hsiao & Lin, Yueh-Hsiu. (2017). How does taking a vacation help relieve your work stress? Conference paper: The 15th APacCHRIE Conference 2017.

Durko, A. & Petrick, J. (2013). Family and relationship benefits of travel experiences: a literature review. Journal of Travel Research, 52(6), 720-730.

Hilbrecht, M. & Smale, B. (2015). The contribution of paid vacation time to wellbeing among employed Canadians. Leisure/Loisir, 40:1, 31-54.

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Kuhnel, J. & Sonnetag, S. (2011). How long do you benefit from vacation? A closer look at the fade-out of vacation effects. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 32(2011), 125-143.

Lachlan McDonald
Lachlan McDonald
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