Original Cottages: Mental health impact of taking short breaks vs fortnight in the sun

Sunshine and sea views good for mental health

February 2019

2019 is the ‘year of the short break’ according to staycation specialists Original Cottages, which has seen a 56% uplift in short break bookings, year on year.

Sonia Holman, Marketing Director at Original Cottages, a hub of nearly 5,000 holiday cottages across England and Wales said: “Our customers are choosing to book multiple short breaks this year rather than committing to a long two-week summer stint away. As such, we’ve dubbed 2019 the ‘year of the short break’. Choosing lots of short breaks means you can genuinely experience so much more in the truest sense that travel has proven to open our minds.”

We asked a psychologist to explain the mental health impact of taking short breaks rather than the traditional two weeks in the sun.

In Lynda Gratton's book The Shift, she recommends taking more short breaks, plus longer career sabbaticals for proper re-energising, in response to the increasing full-on-ness of the digital age and the accelerating speed of change.

Melanie Green, Occupational Psychologist, said:

"The research shows that taking shorter, regular breaks is more effective than long holidays. But it is also related to how you manage the pressures day to day to avoid stress. It becomes a vicious cycle the harder and longer you work, the longer it takes to unwind."

Sonia Holman added: “The choices open up for you to indulge in all of your hobbies across the year while seeing more of our wonderful country too. You could climb Mount Snowdon one weekend, go seal-spotting in Blakeney the next, shop ‘til you drop in the Lanes of Brighton or enjoy a digital detox in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. ”