Happiness is a group effort

Most people view emotions as existing primarily or even exclusively in their heads. Happiness is considered a state of mind; melancholy is a potential warning sign of mental illness. But the reality is that emotions are inherently social: They’re woven through our interactions.

Research has found that people laugh five times as often when they’re with others as when they’re alone. Even exchanging pleasantries with a stranger on a train is enough to spark joy. That’s not to say you can’t find delight in watching a show on Netflix. The problem is that bingeing is an individual pastime. Peak happiness lies mostly in collective activity.

We find our greatest bliss in moments of collective effervescence. It’s a concept coined in the early 20th century by the pioneering sociologist Émile Durkheim to describe the sense of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose. Collective effervescence is the synchrony you feel when you slide into rhythm with friends on a dance floor, join teammates for a kick about,  do downward dogs with likeminded souls on your yoga mat!!

Collective effervescence happens when joie de vivre spreads through a group. Before Covid, research showed that more than three-quarters of people found collective effervescence at least once a week and almost a third experienced it at least once a day. They felt it when they sang in choruses and ran in races, and in quieter moments of connection at coffee shops and in yoga classes.

Emotions are like contagious diseases: They can spread from person to person. “Emotional contagion is when we are literally infected with other people’s emotions,” Sigal Barsade, a management professor and a leading researcher on the topic, has explained. “In almost all of our studies, what we have found is that people don’t realize it’s happening.”

When the pandemic began in 2020, the first negative emotion to spread was fear. Waves of panic crashed through communities, compelling people to purify packages and hoard hand sanitizer. As too many people lost loved ones, too many others lost jobs and everyone lost some semblance of normal life. The number of adults with symptoms of depression or anxiety spiked from one in 10 to about four in 10.

And there’s reason to believe these symptoms haven’t been caused only by the crisis itself — they’ve actually been transferred from person to person. Studies show that if your spouse, your family member or your roommate develops depression, you’re at heightened risk for it. And contagion isn’t limited to face-to-face interaction: Emotions can spread through social media posts and text messages, too.

Psychologists find that in cultures where people pursue happiness individually, they may actually become lonelier. But in cultures where they pursue happiness socially — through connecting, caring and contributing — people appear to be more likely to gain well-being.

The American Declaration of Independence promised unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we want that pursuit to bring us bliss, it may be time to create a Declaration of Interdependence. You can feel depressed and anxious alone, but it’s rare to laugh alone or love alone. Joy shared is joy sustained.


Embrace that warm and fuzzy feeling

This time of year can be grim; cold, dark days and long evenings. Christmas is a distant memory and spring is just that bit too far ahead to get excited about. Time to embrace your warm fuzzies.

Warm fuzzies is a term coined in the late 1960s by the psychotherapist Claude Steiner, to describe positive feelings given out by people.

Steiner was an early proponent of Transactional Analysis, which is a form of psychotherapy that looks at the way people interact. Steiner believed that the more positively children were treated, the more positively they went through life, and vice versa.

To show this, he wrote a children’s book called A Warm Fuzzy Tale, about a magic world where people have bags of warm fuzzies that they hand out to make others happy. But along comes a witch, who is disgruntled that people aren’t using her potions because they’re all so content. She convinces a child that the warm fuzzies are limited in supply and should not be given away. The witch tells the child to save their warm fuzzies by exchanging “cold pricklies” instead, which do exactly as they say on the tin. Soon her warning spreads, and everyone begins handing out cold pricklies, until they are all thoroughly miserable (except for the witch).

The book ends by pointing out that warm fuzzies are actually endless and free to give away – they exist (ration-free) inside all of us. The story’s moral is that the more we give out warm fuzzies, the more we will receive them back – and, unfortunately, the same can be said for cold pricklies.

I thought about the warm fuzzies recently because everything seems so negative at the moment if you watch the TV news or read the papers. Each negative report seemed to elicit another negative report – those cold pricklies were leading to yet more cold pricklies. We are a society in desperate need of more warm fuzzies!

Modern life is not set up for warm fuzzies – it is set up for convenience and cold pricklies. Technology means we interact with other humans less, and when we do actually have a face-to-face conversation, it is usually to complain about technology failing in some way (think supermarket self-service tills). When we chat to people, it tends not to be about how great we think they are – usually, it’s to complain about something they haven’t done.

Social media doesn’t help, and working from home has made things worse. The warm fuzziness of human contact has been swapped for the cold prickliness of social distance.

I have decided to make a conscious effort to embrace the warm fuzzies. Today, I picked up my phone and tapped out a message to a friend I’d recently been out for a walk with: “Our walk today has left me feeling warm and fuzzy.” I woke the next morning to a warm and fuzzy reply, and went through the day on a warm and fuzzy high.

So, spread the word about the warm fuzzies. With any luck, they might just take off.




Starting over…again!

A goodbye comes before another hello. Even though it is just another sunset on one day and another sunrise on another, as a society we have made the turn of a new year into so much more than that. The expectation, the pressure to celebrate, the release of one year and the hope of another – it can all feel a bit too much.

We end up reflecting on what has “gone wrong” and feeling the perceived gaps in our lives that everyone else seems to have filled. We can feel lonely, we miss those we have lost, and we can feel lost we don’t know what direction to take our lives in. These are all common feelings – and they need to be felt.

But I would love to focus on our ability to choose how we want to view the new year – away from the societal pressures and conformities of what a new year “should” mean. That human-constructed turning of the last digit of the year from a one to a two can either make or break us, depending on how we view it and how we use it. And I would encourage you to choose to let it make you.

1. Say a proper goodbye

We cannot engage with something new fully unless we have had time to reflect, to get closure and to reach that point of clarity that hits when we know a certain period of our lives is over – when there is no pull from the past any more, but rather just peace.

Be proud of what you have coped with – write a list, tell a friend, feel all the feelings that have come up and really feel that goodbye, or those feelings will find a way through later. Learn your lessons and learn them well. Gratitude and appreciation are the final steps in saying a proper goodbye to what has been. Let go of resentment, anger, upset and frustration, because they will only hold you back.

2. Say a proper hello

Forget societal pressure to change your entire life in one day, one week or even one year. Chuck the “new year, new me” vibes away. Set general intentions, not high-pressure resolutions. Instead of thinking about specific outcomes as a starting point, think about your general direction.

What do you want to be different and, most importantly, why? Unless you are clear on this, you can’t change anything. Be realistic – things won’t change overnight. Words and lists are all very well, but it is action that matters, so get going with practical steps. Be determined and take small, resolute steps forward.

3. Maybe nothing needs to change

Why are we always told we need to improve, to change, to be better? Maybe we want to do these things for ourselves and that is fine, but when the drive comes from self-criticism, any changes made never end up being positive ones. The drive to “better ourselves” can cause untold suffering.

4. Now is where it is at

Realise that your future is constructed from tiny moments and choices you are making right not.  Your future doesn’t happen in the future. It is being created now. So, choose how you spend each and every moment. These moments all add up to you experiencing something different.

5. Be open to the spontaneous

New Year’s goals are all very well but so often the best things happen out of nowhere. Planning, being prepared and organised are all fine, but as we have all been reminded so often in the past two years, the majority of life is out of our control. Don’t get too stuck or rigid in your thinking about how 2023 might turn out, or you might miss some of the best opportunities.

Taking a break from Tik Tok

One of my school teacher friends was bemoaning recently the drop in concentration spans she has noticed in the children she teaches. ‘They can’t focus on reading or watch a programme for more than 5 minutes!’ Clearly, I am not the only one who thinks we’re in danger of forgetting about things that aren’t five seconds long.

Before we begin, I want to make clear that this is not some boring old millennial slagging off TikTok. This social media platform can be incredible. It gives under-represented minorities a platform and a voice, it finds genuine talent, and for a vast proportion of the world, it is now ‘just the internet’. A Google executive recently noted that 40 per cent of 18-24s now use TikTok to search for a place to have lunch instead of their own search engine.

That said, moderation is key. I hate myself for spending valuable minutes of my life mindlessly scrolling through TikTok, my brain too overstimulated to form any meaningful emotional response to any of it. Nice video of a cute cat playing with another cute kitty – “that’s cute,” says my brain. Next!

Since the pandemic started, studies show that many of us have really struggled with our concentration levels. We’ve became so reliant on our phones to stay connected that we’ve found it really hard to get out of the habit.

Of course, a phone can be a portal to some brilliant things that enrich your life, articles that enlarge your brain and music that alters your mood in an instant. It’s where everyone and everything is. All of the time. All of it. All content ever right there on tap.

Unmoderated, it’s completely overstimulating and overpowering and because of this, you can easily forget about the other places and ways to find joy. For instance, you might find it hard to pick up a book to read and leave your phone alone but when you crack it, it makes you so happy and calm, opening up new worlds and stimulating the imagination.

The same can be said for when I watch the television. I think I enjoy it much more when I’m watching it and scrolling on my phone. But I don’t. I’m not fully present. Social media and the internet can wait. And I’d be better off forming my own opinions instead of looking for someone else’s.

Our brains should only be doing one thing at a time, and admitting to myself that it’s a problem with this has really helped. I now set aside time to read every day. And I’m getting better at not having instant gratification from the things I watch. A recent new release hubby and I enjoyed on Apple TV for example forced me to wait a week between episodes. Initially, I was annoyed – I want it now like everything else in life! – but it made the whole thing much more enjoyable and when I watched it, I thought about it.

I then talked it through with hubby, savoured it and genuinely looked forward to each Friday because there was a new one. It’s far better than bingeing the whole thing in six hours. Your brain cannot possibly process the nuances of the writing or the subtlety of the acting. These things have been painstakingly made, so the least we can do is painstakingly watch them.

If I want to have half an hour being mindless on TikTok, then that’s great. It can be really fun to zone out occasionally. But I want to be the one in charge. It’s a horrible feeling when you look up and realise your phone’s stolen an hour of your life and you weren’t in control of it. As good as police chases and endless videos of Harry Styles in his jumpsuits are, they can’t be the only things we put into our brains. I want things in there that I remember and treasure. Things that inspire me and nourish my Covid-addled brain.

We need to slow the pace of everything down, because these apps are deliberately set up to hook us in and get our brains used to an insanely fast turn over of content. It’s unhealthy, not to mention unnatural. As the late great Terry Wogan once said: “Take it easy, life’s short enough as it is without rushing it”. We can only cope with so much.

The art of giving ….. and receiving.

“The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.” – Deepak Chopra

As we approach the time of year where giving and receiving may begin to be at the forefront of our minds I wanted you to consider what is better, to give or to receive?

The answer may not be as simple as it seems. The action of giving and receiving has a powerful impact on our relationships, not only with others but with yourself as well. Are you better at giving or receiving? I know that I certainly favour one over the other…and it’s probably not the one you would think! Whilst I love buying gifts for others and make an effort to compliment others, I”m not very good at receiving either of those myself.

Receiving is as necessary and important as giving. While giving feels wonderful, it only works when there is a receiver. Allowing yourself to be a gracious receiver is a humbling experience and a true act of love because it offers a chance for others to give.

Receiving is not about expecting others to give to you. It is about receiving a gift without guilt or without feeling obliged to give back. Maybe you can’t receive gifts without negative thoughts popping up, such as, “I don’t deserve this” or “Now I feel like I owe her/him.”

How you receive is just as important to the giver’s happiness as it is to your own. To receive in a good way requires you to do away with the negative thoughts and instead pause and reflect on the exchange and what it means: friendship, support, love, etc. This fuels a great deal of happiness in both the giver and receiver.

Nature provides perfect examples of this dynamic exchange of giving and receiving that is necessary for the flow of life. You receive the gift of oxygen from trees, and you give them carbon dioxide. Insects receive nectar from flowers, and they give the gift of pollination. Symbiotic relationships are abundant in nature and are needed for the ecosystem to continue to thrive. Since you are also part of nature, you too need to both give and receive to stay happy and healthy.

Giving can inspire great positive change and healing in a world that needs it.

Spending more time thinking about ways you can give is often accompanied by feelings of peace and joy. Giving comes naturally to humans because it taps into that innate part of ourselves that gravitates toward connection.

Become conscious of your current relationship with giving and see how it can be improved so you don’t fall prey to the downside of giving too much (or too little) of yourself.

This is where self-care, in the form of being able to receive support, love, and encouragement from others plays a vital role in keeping the energy of giving and receiving circulating in your life.

Here are some small (free) ways you can strengthen the flow of giving in your life:
Compliment a stranger.
Send a message of appreciation.
Give a hug.
Say “thank you.”
Give a homemade gift.


Beat the Winter Blues

What do dormice, hedgehogs and bats have in common? They are the only 2 mammals which hibernate here in the UK. And, at this time of year, I feel like joining this exclusive club. Fatten me up, roll me in a ball and let me retreat to my cosy nest and, only wake me up when the first daffodils are raising their joyful heads towards spring! Sadly, we humans don’t have the luxury of undisturbed winter slumber so, instead, I thought I’d share some tips to make the shortening autumnal days as bright as they can possibly be. Enjoy!



Exercise Rich, Movement Poor

I listened to a really interesting podcast recently and, heard this term. (Check it the episode here as it was fascinating).

As you watch your parents or your grandparents’ generation age, you’ve probably noticed it yourself. Seniors who are physically active are generally just more mentally “with it” than those who are content to sit in the easy chair and nod off in front of Antiques Roadshow (NB, nothing wrong with a bit of vegging out so long as it’s not for hours at at time! I have a particular penchant for the Real Housewives!)

In fact, study after study has shown that people who move more don’t just have healthier hearts and lungs (and maybe better definition in the calf muscles). They usually score better on tests that measure memory and decision-making as well. There’s a reason that people in the health world sometimes call exercise “food for the brain.”

It is true that this kind of research usually relies on people’s own estimation of how much physical activity they get, which can be unreliable. However, the results from one recent study should banish any uncertainty. Scientists strapped accelerometers, electronic devices that measure movement, to nearly 500 people and tracked them for 20 years, to see how much they moved corresponded to how well they did on cognitive tests they regularly took for the length of the study. The conclusion was inescapable: move more; think better!

So now researchers are on the threshold of figuring out the hard part: what’s going on inside your brain when your body is in motion. In other words, what explains these almost (but not) too good-to-be-true results. Here’s the take-away to date:

Your brain gets better “irrigated”.  

Think of your gray matter as your own inside-the-body garden. And just like a garden, it needs to be regularly watered, or else patches here and there will wither and even die off. So goes the brain. It needs healthy circulation in the small vessels inside of it to bring oxygen and nutrients throughout the organ. And nothing promotes healthy blood flow and tamps down the production of vessel-clogging plaque like moving the body.

Your brain gets bigger.

Let’s stick with the brain-as-garden idea. In a well-nourished garden, your plants sprout new leaves and shoots. Same with the brain. Exercise promotes something called “neurogenesis.” Put simply, you grow more new brain cells. Blood drawn from exercisers is likely to show a higher level of a particular chemical, BDNF, that promotes cell growth upstairs. And the more your brain is able to generate new cells, the better it can respond and adapt to the changing world around you. (Ever notice that some seniors seem to be stuck in a past decade. Don’t let that be you.) Scientists have a fancy term for this: neuroplasticity.

The very latest research has even shown that the brains of people who move more are actually, on average, physically bigger! They have a thicker cerebral cortex, where the brain does most of its cognitive heavy lifting. (The hippocampus region, essential for making and keeping memories, is especially important here.) When we’re younger, a physically bigger brain doesn’t necessarily mean a smarter brain. But, as we age, shrinking brain volume spells cognitive problems. So get moving – and keep moving!

Brain and body fight inflammation together.    

For all the direct effects that exercise has on brain health, the indirect ones, via the cardiovascular system may be just as important. Moving the body eats up excess sugar in the bloodstream which not only keeps the heart healthy but keeps our muscle cells sensitive to insulin. We get more mileage with less insulin and that protects us from prediabetes and diabetes and ensures the whole body is running on an even keel (think, low-inflammation). That very much includes the brain. It’s now well established that people with cardiovascular and metabolic issues are at much higher risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. For years, integrative doctors have thought of these neurological conditions as diseases caused by “inflamed brains.” And now brand-new research is suggesting that exercise may be tamping down brain inflammation directly by maintaining the health of the brain’s immune cells, the microglia.

A happy brain is a smart brain.   

I hope you‘ve noticed that when you’re getting more physical activity in your life, you usually just feel better, about everything. We know that exercise stimulates the production of a brew of brain chemicals that make us feel good, everything from endorphins to serotonin and dopamine. And new research suggests that it can actually increase the number of dopamine receptors in the brain, helping to keep us “receptive” to the fun things in life. (In other words, the answer to the “same old, same old” syndrome.) Movement also serves to keep our stress hormones in check. High levels of our primary stress hormone, cortisol, are closely associated with depression which is all too good at making your brain feel sluggish. We now know that exercise can be as or more effective than side-effect-laden anti-depression drugs in combating depression.

Grab Your Slice of the Brain Benefit Pie and try ‘Exercise Snacking‘ 

OK, this one isn’t brain science (except that it is): move your body. The government recommends at least two hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Boring and dutiful-sounding, right? The antidote to that is to build movement into your everyday activities: take walks and climb stairs to get where you’re going; take a break at your desk and do some stretching; do anything other than sitting in one spot for prolonged periods of time. You may not consider these frequent mini breaks throughout the day a “work-out” but your body does. What’s more, your insulin metabolism will become more efficient and those brain-enhancing brain chemicals will begin to pump.

All that said, the research does suggest that some of the brain benefits of physical activity are enhanced when you move vigorously, working at higher heart-rate levels. That doesn’t mean you have to be down at the track doing sprint intervals like you’re training for the Olympics (but if that’s your thing, go for it). Try taking a daily long walk. Maybe you do half the walk at your normal comfortable soaking-in-the-scenery pace and the other half as briskly as you can, without breaking a sweat or into a jog. Like to swim? Alternate between sprints and laps done at a more relaxed pace. It all works, so don’t just stand there, move your body to support your brain!

The power of silence

Ah, September, time for my yearly ritual to escape for a few days on my own. To do some yoga, to explore a new place and, to be quiet.

Silence can be a very powerful antidote against today’s increasingly loud and busy world. Quiet moments throughout the day do not only ease our minds, but it also helps us to be in touch with ourselves and develop a stronger connection with others. Silence also serves as a bridge between feeling and response. By taking mindful pauses throughout our day, even just for a few minutes, we benefit from improved decision-making skills and enhanced mental clarity.

As silence is so much more than just the absence of noise, but about slowing down and quieting the inner chatter, here a few tips on how to carve valuable moments of silence in our everyday lives:


Notifications have become embedded in our everyday lives. While it’s impossible to ignore, it’s not impossible to escape. From completely disabling alerts and notifications to setting ‘do not disturb’ hours on our devices, we are ultimately in control of how much input we want to allow. it is equally important to remember that we don’t have to available 24/7 either. Not every mail or call needs to be answered immediately.


Make it a habit to enjoy a daily activity that does not involve a screen. From reading a book to enjoying a short series of restorative yoga poses, taking a break from the screen does not only help quiet a busy mind, but it also helps the body relax and release tension.


Are you having a hard time finding silence spontaneously? Carve moments of solitude by blocking it on your calendar. By making it a priority, it will become an indispensable part of your routine.


Creating space for gratitude does not only invite us to be more present, but it also brings the fullness of silence. From keeping a gratitude journal to expressing our appreciation to others, we can practice gratitude in many ways. If you are not doing it yet, you can start by thinking about three things you are grateful for each day.


Not everyone can keep still and sit quietly with their thoughts. If this sounds like you, put on your shoes and enjoy a stroll. Thanks to the repeated movement and the steady rhythm of your footfall, walking naturally allows your mind to go quiet. Not only is it good for clearing your thoughts, but it also is a good way to get your body moving too.


Spending time outdoors is a powerful way to cultivate stillness. From observing the vivid colors of the sunset to enjoying the cold winter breeze, spending time outdoors activates our senses in ways that we don’t experience indoors. It invites us to be fully and truly present.

Time to have fun!

There’s a very simple but very brilliant piece of art by a talented man called Mr Bingo that I often think about. It’s a 14cm-high gravestone with the words “Don’t forget to have fun” engraved into it. It’s the perfect alternative to your aunt’s “Live Laugh Love” cushions and I absolutely adore it.

His is one of the few accounts on Instagram,  that actually makes scrolling enjoyable. Fun for the sake of fun. He is also beautifully cynical about life, which is also my default when I’m not wearing my cheery yoga hat. It’s important to have different hats, by the way. But that’s for another post.

There has been a bit of friend sadness that I’ve been dealing with the past few weeks, and it made me think, maybe I should write a post that we can all go back to when things get bleak and it will remind us all to find the fun when we can.

Or maybe at least to find some time in the darkness when we really need it. I know it’s hard to find at the moment, though. Right now, the world is metaphorically, politically and literally on fire, so when you find some fun, grab on to it, dear. Grab on to it with all your might.

Apply this to a friendship, a relationship, a job, whatever. You are allowed to laugh way more than you are, even when things are hard. Have you, in all the sadness and madness of the past few years, forgotten the fun?

Call up your friend and plan a long overdue night out. Do something spontaneous with your partner. (This can be as cringeworthy and silly as you wish!)  Single out the not-awful people you work with and spend a bit of time with them out of the office. There might be a brilliant new friend waiting for you.

Prioritising fun once in a while should not leave you feeling guilty.It gives you the energy to carry on going when things feel hard. Grant yourself permission to have a break from it all. And please attend to your own fun first before helping others with theirs…because you’re important too!

We’re all going on a summer holiday!

After the chaos and uncertainty of the last couple of years, it’s hardly surprising that so many of us feel in need of a break.

Whether you’re feeling stressed, need an escape from the news cycle or are struggling to juggle all your responsibilities, the chance to spend a week relaxing on the beach or exploring an unfamiliar city is just what the doctor ordered.

The only problem? As much as you might feel in need of a break, switching off might not prove as easy as you expect it to be – especially if you’re used to being busy all the time.

Being in a relaxing environment certainly helps, but if your mind is still preoccupied with a million and one things, it can be hard to reap the benefits of spending time away.

Of course, the last thing you want is to feel wired the whole time you’re on holiday. Everyone deserves the chance to relax, unwind and enjoy some time away from the buzz of everyday life – and that’s where this article comes in.

To give you the tools you need to enjoy a restorative holiday this summer,  psychotherapist Laura Duester shares her top tips for switching off. Here’s what she had to say.

Switch off work messages

As tempting as it may be to check in on work while you’re away, doing so will only add to your stress levels and make it harder for you to relax in the long run.

“It’s impossible to relax on holiday if you’re constantly checking and responding to work messages,” Duester explains. “Before leaving, hand over important issues to your colleagues, set a holiday voicemail and email autoreply (including your return to work date), and inform any important contacts or clients. You can then turn off your notifications and leave your work laptop and phone at home.

“Alternatively, if you can’t completely switch off from work while you’re away, plan to log in once a day at a set time, limit how long you spend checking messages and only reply to the most urgent/pressing issues.”

Decide your holiday priorities

To remove any holiday-related stress, Duester recommends setting some priorities for your trip before you leave, so you know exactly what you want to see, do and experience.

“What’s the priority for your holiday – do you want relaxation, family time, sightseeing, sporting activities or something else?” Duester says.

“There’s never enough time to do everything, so work out what’s most important to you and prioritise that. It might help to imagine how you’ll feel when the holiday is over – what will you want to remember that you’ve done and enjoyed?”

Put your worries on hold

If you’re someone who struggles to put their worries aside, this simple technique is a great way to give yourself space to unwind.

“Even when you’re on a sunny beach or exploring a new town, real-life worries can pop into your head and be hard to ignore,” Duester says. “Try writing down anything that’s bothering you and then mentally put your concern(s) on hold.

“If the same thoughts pop up repeatedly, gently acknowledge them and let them go, telling yourself you’ll have a chance to worry about them later. You can return to your list of worries, and decide on what actions you need to take, when you get home.”

Let go of unrealistic expectations

The process of going on holiday can be stressful and it’s likely you’ll run into a few roadblocks along the way. However, the way you think about these issues can make a world of difference to your ability to relax.

“From flight delays to forgetting your hairbrush, there will always be things that go wrong on holiday,” Duester says. “While this can be frustrating when you’ve spent a lot of money and want everything to be perfect, the best strategy is to accept and manage any problems as they arise.

“Let go of stress and expectations, take a deep breath, see if you can find a different solution and try to find the funny side (if possible).”

Ditch the guilt

Our fast-paced lifestyles have made us feel guilty about taking time off – but don’t let that feeling stand in the way of giving yourself the break you deserve.

“In today’s fast-paced society, slowing down and enjoying yourself can provoke serious feelings of guilt,” Duester explains. “Remind yourself that it’s your holiday and you’re allowed to take a break. If you want to ignore social media, have a siesta every day or read Mills & Boon novels, give yourself permission and enjoy it!”