The point of a holiday is to relax, but it's hard to take your mind off work even after you leave. Our brains don't come with a switch — they need to be primed. If all you usually think about is work, then before your next actual holiday, take a mental holiday.
Holiday time is limited and you want it to be stress-free. But an overworked brain can't seamlessly start relaxing immediately, writes Harvard Business Review. Try things to reduce noise, like turning your smartphone off for an hour or switching off the radio on your commute:
If you want to maximise your chances of a restful holiday, it's critical to "practice" vacationing by shutting off a little each working day. "These moments of quiet and disconnection help your brain realise that you can have that separation and still have that productivity and happiness," says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage.
This method basically primes your brain to switch off once the holiday starts, without sacrificing on your productivity in the last few days before you leave. Similarly, you can set things up to seamlessly start working when you return from your break.
The Professional's Guide to a Stress-Free Vacation [Harvard Business Review]