The kids are back at school, work is ramping up after the Christmas/New Year break and everyone is claiming a piece of your time. It feels like you are being pulled in so many directions that a meltdown is imminent, and yet, it is only early in the year. If this resonates with you, it is likely that you need a mini-break.

Not quite a full-fledged Holiday with all the planning involved (cancellations of activities, leaves of absence, approvals for Holiday leave, letters to the kids’ schools, coordination of schedules, rescheduling of tasks and appointments), a mini-break is the Holiday you take when you don’t actually have Holiday leave.

It may be that you leave as soon as work finishes on the Friday and plan to stay away until Sunday, or if you are a shift-worker, it could even be a mid-week getaway. The most important feature of the mini break is the chance to leave home and leave the regular pressures behind and take some time out to unwind. Accessible locations are best, and we can think of none better than the Mornington Peninsula, but then we may be just a bit biased. It won’t take too long to get away to your destination, and yet you will be far enough from home to be able to switch off and relax. Even if work can’t be completely left behind, the change of scene will do you no end of good.

Minibreaks are great for the three ‘Rs’. No not reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, but rather Refreshing, Rejuvenating and Recharging. Typically, a mini-break is between two and five days in length, with more benefit the longer you are away from day-to-day pressures. They are like a pressure release valve for our overly frenetic lives. 

The major benefits of a mini-break are affordability, time-efficiency, and the ability to be repeated. Most of us cannot readily afford the cost of a traditional lengthy Holiday, neither the monetary cost nor the time involved. It is expensive to take 2 or more weeks and travel with family or friends to far-flung places. It is also difficult to arrange the time out from work, and especially difficult if you are trying to coordinate time-off with a number of different people. A short break on the other hand is much more accessible. It is cheaper, it is easier to take a few days and as a result we can even think about making mini-breaks a regular feature throughout the year. They will become something to look forward to with Friends or Family.

While away on your mini-break you can read that bestseller that has been sitting on the bedside table for a few months, you can idly leaf through magazines or read the newspaper from cover to cover. You can go for a walk or a run in new surrounds, or book into a local yoga class or even pamper yourself and book into a spa. Most importantly, you can switch off.