Sunny outlook: The best tips for a feel-good lifestyle

KEEP the holiday mood well into autumn with our feel-good lifestyle tips. Check out recipes online to recreate classic dishes such as moussaka, paella or burritos. Britons are Europe’s most avid readers. One in five of us read between three and four books over the summer and 12 per cent read more than four books, according to a survey by Opodo travel blog. Even those who claim they never have time to read are likely to pick up a book on holiday, says BookTrust, the UK’s largest reading charity. The study found people who read books regularly are on average happier and more satisfied with life.

Sunny outlook: The best tips for a feel-good lifestyle

Tip: The following books score highly in lists of best holiday reads – The Beach by Alex Garland (£8.99); A Room With A View by EM Forster (£8.99); Chocolat by Joanne Harris (£7.99); Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee (£8.99). Food for thought. With seven out of 10 people using food to boost their mood, according to Bupa-led research, it’s no surprise our favourite holiday dishes offer the perfect menu for beating the blues once we return home. Tip: Check out recipes online to recreate classic dishes such as moussaka, paella or burritos.  The great outdoors. One feel-good element of a holiday is being outdoors where you get a hit of vitamin-D and mood-boosting sunlight. Janey Holliday, of outdoor workout company Fit for a Princess, says, “Training on an uneven surface means you have to use your balancing and core strength throughout your workout. You’ll work harder against natural resistance from the wind, too.”

Tip: Don’t just spend time outside, be active as well. Head for the beach. Going to the coast is a great way to banish post-holiday blues, according to research for the National Trust. The study found  that long walks along the beach promote happy memories and extra sleep. About 80 per cent of those polled reported increased feelings of calm and happiness. Tip: Check out coastal walks at Reminisce with a review. Adam Coulter, UK managing editor of TripAdvisor’s, suggests: “Recreate that magical holiday feeling by writing a review for your favourite trip or restaurant.” Tip: Browse your holiday snaps for inspiration.

Spoil yourself. A great aspect of a holiday is that rules tend to go out of the window and you indulge in that decadent dessert or treat yourself to a trinket. Tip: Keep up that holiday feeling with pedicures and de-fuzzing. Turn off the TV. Holidays are sociable and there are no soaps or reality TV programmes to dominate your evenings. Get out in the garden, play board games with the kids, take up a sport or join a club. Psychological studies show those with an active social life and a sense of community are happiest. Tip: Make a conscious effort not to slip back into the old routine. Decide what to watch and turn off the box when it’s finished.

Stick to good resolutions. There’s nothing like a week on the Algarve or in the Canaries to get a perspective on what’s important. Co-author of ReWork: Change The Way You Work Forever (£12.99) David Heinemeier Hansson says, “Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to make sound judgments.” Tip: Leave work on time. Smell the roses. Our sense of smell taps into our brain’s memory centre, so a familiar holiday fragrance will transport you back. According to a survey by OnePoll, 82 per cent of us believe holiday-related smells are a perfect pick-me-up for post-trip blues.

Tip: Apply Palmer’s Coconut Body Oil (£7.35, Superdrug) or light one of Yankee Candle’s Viva Havana range (£23.99, Rise and shine. Pretend you’re on holiday and have a long, leisurely breakfast. Enjoy your morning cuppa and toast (or hot chocolate and croissant) on the patio or near a sunny window and imagine yourself in the Med. Tip: Buy a dawn simulator alarm clock which gradually fills the room with light or one that wakes you with natural sounds. Life’s a picnic. Drag workmates to the park or riverbank and enjoy lunch alfresco. Or, weather permitting, get out the barbecue or simply eat your evening meal outside rather than at the dining table. Food always seems to taste better outdoors.

Tip: Think French baguettes, creamy Camembert or antipasti with beef tomatoes and olives. Try wild swimming. Obviously there are safety issues involved (never swim alone) but we guarantee you’ll feel like a child again. Studies show swimming in a lake or river is better for your health than in the local pool. “Open water offers a personal sense of adventure and fitness challenge both physically and psychologically,” says Nikki Fletcher, open water, triathlon, Team Aqua Sphere and ASA performance coach. Tip: Visit and The National Open Water Coaching Association at for safety advice. No place like home. Whether it’s Leeds or London, think like a tourist and see the sights. You’ll see your town through fresh eyes and have a great day out. Tip: Check out TripAdvisor for the top 10 things to do in your town.

Say it with colour. Wear colourful clothing, says Alex Sass of online personal happiness tracking tool “That Hawaiian-print shirt might be frowned upon in the workplace, but there’s no need to revert straight back to dreary, depressing browns, blacks and greys.”  Tip: Try injecting a little colour into your life with a red scarf or paint your fingernails crimson. Take a digital detox. Yoga teacher Chris James ( says, “Our annual vacation is a chance to switch off from work and the daily bombardment of texts, emails and social media. Turn off your smartphone, even if for just 10 minutes. New notifications trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that drives us to seek rewards, so you keep coming back for more. This vicious cycle is taking a toll on our wellbeing and relationships. Surveys have reported an association between technology and depression, anxiety and decreased marital satisfaction.”

Tip: Check your emails only two or three times a day, rather than the instant they arrive on your device. Summer of love. We have more sex in August than in any other month, although it’s closely followed by July and June, according to a recent poll by That is probably because on holiday we are more relaxed and have more opportunities for romance. Regular sex not only enhances your relationship, but boosts your health, immunity and your mood. Tip: Inject spontaneity into your love life. Friends reunited. Whether it’s playing ball in the pool, cricket on the beach or football in the park, holidays are about fun with family and friends. Facebook just isn’t the same, say Oxford researchers, who found friends should be seen more as a “village” of casual acquaintances rather than a close network of allies. “There is something paramount about face-to-face interactions that are crucial for maintaining friendships,” says psychologist, Professor Robin Dunbar. Shares, selfies and “likes” are no replacement for the bonding that takes place while sharing food, experiences and anecdotes. Tip: Make the effort to arrange proper dates with friends and family and don’t cancel – no matter how busy you may be.