The long and short of it is that the latter reigns supreme in matters of holiday making. Taking smaller breaks instead of prolonged vacations is incrementally better for not just your pocket, but also your mind, psychologists say. The reason is simple. Vacations are associated with positive feelings (an automatic positive feedback mechanism in the brain stimulates the release of a happy hormone called Oxytocin), and the more frequently you take vacations, the better you will feel.
In 2019, preferred destinations for quick getaways for Delhiites will be Udaipur, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Shimla, Nainital, Manali, Rishikesh and Kasauli. For Mumbaikars, it will be Khandala, Lonavla, Mahabaleshwar and Durshet, while Bengaluru travellers are likely to visit Coorg, Ooty, Auroville and Kotagiri more. “Over the last few years, we have seen many people taking frequent short breaks and we expect this trend to grow stronger in 2019. Travellers can also leverage their long weekends next year and visit international short-haul destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Dubai, Indonesia, Bhutan and Sri Lanka,” says Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com.
The phenomenon of pleasure derived from holidays is complex. It’s a brain-stimulated reward system that triggers neurotransmitters to secrete the hormone dopamine, with an associated pleasure. When people are homebound from a holiday, they feel withdrawal symptoms. However, if you were to feed your pleasure-seeking desires with more short breaks than one long one, chances of your psychological wellbeing intensify.
“The psychological, social and lifestyle component is being compromised with our rushed lives. Taking out frequent time for self care is essential, and short but frequent breaks can be more beneficial. Such breaks from work or mundane routine change your environment, which helps both the mind and the body to feel rejuvenated, and also helps in serving as something to look forward to,” says Dr Samir Parikh, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Healthcare.
Nobel Prize winner and psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s path-breaking work on decision-making lucidly presents how the human brain is categorised with two mental functioning systems—an experiencing self and a remembering self. His hypothesis is useful in matters of holidays. According to him, in the former case, a person is ‘in the moment’. The latter is a memory-keeper.
His investigation says since people love sharing stories through visuals and recollections post vacation, they continue to experience a high, even days after the culmination of their holiday. And whether you leverage these memories from a three-day break or a two-week break, the outcome is the same.
A fuller brain is a healthier brain, says Nayamat Bawa, Head Psychologist, iwill by epsyclinic. Holidays are quick coping mechanisms that lead to overall wellbeing. Holidays taken with loved ones enhance the dopamine levels. “Long breaks lead to monotony. A short break would mean a consolidated good time we spend with our significant others. It’s a concentrated dose of happiness that stimulates the levels of norepinephrine, the feel-good factor in our mind,” she says. So invest in short-term breaks for long-term dividends.
Auroville and Kotagiri
For Delhiites: Udaipur, Dalhousie, Khajjiar, Shimla, Nainital, Manali, Rishikesh, Kasauli