Travelling far is not necessary for a holiday, but breaking the daily routine is

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

The packed departure lounges and long waiting times at Schiphol show that the Dutch are again going abroad on holiday in large numbers. Marianne van Woerkom, professor of positive organisational psychology, explains on NRC.nl that you do not necessarily have to travel far to experience that real holiday feeling.

What is a prerequisite for a good holiday in which you really relax? "It's important to be completely detached from your work. That means not checking your e-mail quickly. If you keep doing this, you won't recharge."

Breaking the daily routine

"Holidays are about distancing yourself from the things that have to be done. And it's a lot easier to do that when we're away from home. Moreover, you are not constantly reminded of the household chores that you haven’t done yet. So that is why people like to go far away. But distance alone does not tell the whole story according to Van Woerkom: "You can fly to the other side of the world, but if you do the same there as you do at home, such a faraway holiday is of little use."

Slow travel is more intense

For those who prefer not to fly because of the climate, she has good news: "When you travel slowly, such as by bicycle or on foot, you experience the travel much more intensely. As a result, you can achieve the same feeling in the Netherlands as when you take a plane to Japan, for example."

Holiday in the backyard

Finally, the question is asked whether it is possible to have a good holiday at home. According to Van Woerkom, this does require extra discipline: "For example, put your laptop and everything that reminds you of things to do behind bars. Do not only visit cinemas and museums, but also go somewhere you never go, and do your shopping in a different neighbourhood."

Professor

prof.dr. (Marianne) M van Woerkom

More information

Read the entire article on nrc.nl (in Dutch).

Related content

Not: you can do better than this. But rather: well done.

Marianne van Woerkom’s academic enquiries don’t focus on why people don’t do well at work, but rather on what’s going on when they do. Hence the name positive psychology.

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