The Importance of Taking Breaks: What does that look like for me?

I’m due to finish for leave on Friday and go on our annual family holiday to the Isles of Scilly.

Michelle Hill

I’m due to finish for leave on Friday and go on our annual family holiday to the Isles of Scilly.


Those who know me will understand what a wonderful space this glorious place holds in my heart. I’ve always been someone who only likes to visit a place once, believing that there is so much to discover in the world that I couldn’t justify keep going back to places. 6 years ago that changed when I fell head over heels in love with the beautiful Isles of Scilly.


But as well as the location, it’s the way we holiday in Scilly that stole my heart.


We’re campers (last year we missed camping so much during lockdown that we spent many a night in our tent in the back garden!)


Campers who love the outdoors and will camp in any weather. When we go to Scilly, we camp for as long as I can possibly fit in.


16 nights this year.


We’ll have no electricity for those 16 days and instead will charge our phones on a portable battery pack or by handing them in overnight to the office at our campsite. I will love not having electricity for those 16 days. No electricity means no cheekily checking Facebook when I first wake up, no taking the perfect insta-worthy pic just so I can post it, no checking Twitter as a sneaky way to keep up to date with work. It definitely means no emails either for work or personally.


It means only using my phone for photos or the odd text to my family and friends. No electricity means cooking takes longer. We cook on a gas camping stove and can still create a tasty tea but one that requires more patience than normal. The campsite we stay on does have electric hook ups available but every year we opt not to take them.


But it’s not just the lack of electricity which is significant.


No tourist cars are allowed on the Isles of Scilly and therefore we get everywhere on foot.


If we want to visit our favourite beach (Pelistry) on the island of St Marys (2.8 miles away), we walk. There and back. Packed up ready for the day, carrying what we need on our back. If we need to get some food shopping, we walk to the local shop, fill our bags, and walk back. If we want to explore one of the other wonderful islands, we walk to the harbour, catch a boat, walk around the chosen island and repeat in reverse. Not having a car not only means that getting to places takes longer, needs more planning, helps me meet my every increasing step challenges but also gives us time to chat more, tell stories, play games, share concerns.


The combination of the lack of electricity in our tent and the lack of a car to rely on, makes Scilly the place I go to get totally off grid, the place I go when everything slows down and I fully recharge.


As I approach our holiday I know I need a break. I’m tired at the moment, tired of the balancing act of the last few months. Not struggling to be honest but tired. Tired and in need of rest and recuperation.


An article published in Forbes in January 2021 identified that the benefits of rest included:

  • Healing your body
  • Reducing stress
  • Boosting creativity
  • Improving productivity
  • Enhancing decision making

Scilly will give me that rest I am craving, I’m sure. And I know that my body, my family and my team will all benefit from me having a full and proper break.


Whatever a true break looks like for you, I hope you get chance to have one. The chance to recuperate and fully rest. The chance to come back in September, into the new normal, refreshed and ready to go again.