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Lonely Planet helps Brits destress

Lonely Planet is providing advice and guidelines to help stressed-out Britons survive the most depressing day of the year, January 22nd.
“Due to the combination of lousy weather, post-Christmas debt, the return of work-related stress and failed new year resolutions, Britons flock to online travel booking sites and travel agencies in a bid to escape,” says Lonely Planet author Frances Linzee Gordon. “We’re encouraging Britons to think more creatively about what they want to do with their free time for the whole year”.

It’s shocking to find that only one in five workers use all their statutory annual paid leave, and a quarter (25%) have more than 7 days holiday left at the end of the year. A recent survey by Lonely Planet of 736 working Britons found 40% think they have as few as 27 non-work days, when the average working Briton enjoys more than a third of a year to themselves: 132 days (comprised of 52 weekends, 8 bank holidays and 20 days of statutory annual paid leave).

Lonely Planet’s Frances Linzee Gordon says: “We know misery among Britons is at its worst in January, when many workers are suffering from the winter blues and depressed at the thought of another year of work stretching out before them. We’re advising them to think about how to use their 132 non-work days and make the most of them, whether it be an evening class, weekend getaway or adventure of a lifetime. One in five Britons suffer from work-related stress, so use the winter blues to plan your year and make sure you make time for yourslef. We know from our community of travellers that even planning a trip raises the spirits and this way you can ensure that 2007 is a year in which you make time for you, not just your boss.”

Lonely Planet’s survey found 38% of workers said they were happiest when travelling and of those entitled to leave, over half (54%) said taking annual leave made them feel happier. 61% of respondents said they wanted to do more with their time off and a similar number (64%) said they are more productive at work when they take their annual leave. Conversely, 80% don’t even take all their statutory annual paid leave, and 81% of working Britons feel pressure to work longer hours than necessary. Consistently working long hours and not taking enough holidays can lead to stress and health problems, can ruin relationships, causes depression, lowers productivity and makes caring for our children more problematic.

In a bid to help stressed-out, work-obsessed Britons, Lonely Planet is publishing a new book 132: Seize the Days to encourage people to assess what they’re doing with their own free time and inspire them through offering ideas, tips and suggestions to help them to make the most of it.