Time for a summer HolidAI? Why we need a break, and how AI can help…

It’s that time of year again when we head off for a well-deserved break, leaving behind the daily grind in favor of some relaxation and adventure. But do we actually need holidays? Spoiler alert: Yes, we really do. But why? What’s really happening in our brains and bodies when we relax in the sunshine for a while? And before we close our laptops for a couple of weeks, are there ways that smarter AI-driven tech can help us actually switch off?

Let’s dive in.

Your brain is a muscle. Remember to stretch…

Back in 1910, William Taft (27th President of the United States) remarked that “2 or 3 months’ vacation are necessary in order to continue work the next year with that energy and effectiveness which it ought to have”.

While most of us might not have the luxury of taking up to a quarter of the year off, even a couple of weeks can have a dramatic effect on wellbeing – and ultimately, post-holiday productivity.

Here are just 3 ways that holidays are about more than just ‘not working’:

  1. Cognitive flexibility 
    Recent research, including a comprehensive Dutch study1, has shown that holidays – being a break from daily routine and repetition – are a great way to significantly increase our cognitive flexibility. This means that our ability to adapt to new situations and think about multiple concepts simultaneously improves. Essentially, taking time off can make us more adept at juggling tasks and coming up with creative solutions when we do eventually return to work.
  1.  Stress reduction 
    Holidays are a proven antidote to stress. Metrics from multiple studies document measurable reductions in fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and anger during – and after – a holiday. For example, individuals report a significant decrease in these negative emotions, making them feel more relaxed and at ease. This reduction in stress leads to more than just happiness – it could be life saving. A 9 year study2 of 12,000 middle aged men found that those who had skipped longer vacations for 5 years were 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack…
  1. Increased brain function 
    Traveling to new environments enhances brain regions associated with learning, memory, creativity, and critical thinking. This not only promotes brain cell growth but also helps stave off neurodegeneration linked to depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Simply put, exposing your brain to new stimuli can have profound long-term benefits. Plus it makes you much more entertaining at dinner parties.

How to do holidays ‘properly’ – the ‘AI’ way…

It’s all about balance…

To maximize the benefits of your holiday, strike a balance between activity and rest. Engaging in physical activities can boost brain function, while ample rest helps in stress reduction. Here’s where AI can be a game-changer. Tools like Ask Layla can help you plan your itinerary by suggesting a mix of activities and relaxation based on your preferences and travel goals​.

Hello sunshine!

Sunshine is not just about a tan. Vitamin D, synthesized through sunlight exposure, is essential for muscular function, immune system health, bone metabolism, and mental health. Spending time outdoors in the sun can enhance your mood and physical well-being. AI tools like Wanderbot can help you find the best sunny spots and outdoor activities during your trip, ensuring you get the most out of your sunshine exposure​.

Take the morning off…

One of the most significant differences between our working weeks and holidays is the amount of sleep we get. On average, we do not get enough sleep during our workdays, leading to a buildup of sleep debt (about a third of us are getting less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours per night3). During holidays, people tend to sleep more and catch up on this debt, which is crucial for restoring physiological functions, improving mood, and increasing overall health. AI-driven apps Emma can help monitor and improve sleep cycles, while travel assistants such as Expedia’s chatbot can help manage your travel schedule more efficiently, ensuring you have plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate.

AI travel planning tools

In conclusion…

Taking a holiday isn’t just about having fun—it’s a scientifically proven necessity for our mental and physical health. Your colleagues and bosses should actually thank you for going on holiday because you’ll come back smarter, happier, and more productive. It’s just science. So, the next time you’re planning a break, remember that it’s not just a luxury—it’s essential for your well-being. And with the help of a couple of AI tools, you can plan the perfect holiday, balancing activity, rest, and everything in between to maximize the benefits.

So when you come back to the world of sales you can hit the ground running…

Want to discover other ways that AI can help busy sales professionals? We’ve put together an invaluable collection of resources, tips, and training tools – everything AI, all in one place.


1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261517714000685

2 https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.112.003640

3 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6506a1.htm