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Could Brits be making more of their annual leave? At least one in three are run-down (41%), depressed (34%) or stressed (30%) because it's been too long since their last holiday, yet a third (33%) of people in the UK failed to use their full annual leave allocation to 'recharge' in 2015, according to new research released today.

The findings are part of the Wellness Research conducted by teletextholidays.co.uk, looking into the holiday habits and trends of the British traveller.

The research also highlights that a round 3.15 million people forfeited at least three days of annual leave in 2015, with 30% of these people missing out on seven or more days. Of those who didn't take all of their annual leave, 32% said they had too much work, 17% didn't feel they could take time off and 6% said it's so stressful coming back to extra work that they don't see much point in going away in the first place.

With this in mind, we asked Mark Cropley, Professor of Health Psychology at University of Surrey, for his top tips on how to make the most of annual leave.


Credit: Shutterstock_2425302 - copyright Ersler Dmitry

TOP TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF ANNUAL LEAVE

* Plan in advance and book your holidays as soon as you can at work – simply booking a holiday is enough to boost your mood. This will also give you and your employer ample time to plan for when you are away

* Book somewhere new for your holiday, half the excitement is in researching things to do and places to see. When it comes around you'll be ready to switch off and excited to explore

* Before you go away try to arrange your work so you either completely finish a project or you are in a good position to handover to someone else

* Tidy your desk (or work station) before you go so you have a fresh start to come back to

* Once on holiday allow yourself to unwind. It takes on average 1.5 days to, so avoid taking work away with you and turn off your mobile phone

*Do not check emails while on holiday. Common reasons are to reduce the backlog of emails, or to fill in downtime whilst you're relaxing. By checking emails it stops you from being able to switch off and causes extended stress and worry. More importantly it also sends the wrong impression to colleagues, making them think you're always accessible

* Find activities to distract the mind from thinking about work. Treat yourself to a massage, explore the local area, go on an adventure or just spend quality time with those you're away with.

* Taking a holiday is about unwinding, have some break days where you can sit back and relax

* To avoid the holiday blues on return, share the experience with friends, family and colleagues to keep the excitement alive

* Most importantly, don't leave it too long before you start researching your next getaway



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Top tips for making the most of your annual leave allowance
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