No more working for a week or two: The psychological benefits of holidays

Summer represents a time when Brits not only look forward to enjoying warmer weather at home, but also get excited about the prospect of jetting off to sunnier climes overseas. And with people heading off on holidays for all manner of different reasons, there has been plenty of research recently regarding the psychological aspects of a vacation abroad.

Christian Jarrett, Staff Journalist at The Psychologist - the monthly publication of the British Psychological Society - has looked at the pros and cons of a summer getaway. Dr Jarrett explained that while a change of scene can revitalise a person, there may also be downsides in the form of illness and lethargy.

Research presented at the Society's Annual Conference by Dr Matthew White from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health found that breaks to the coast are associated with numerous positive feelings, including calmness, refreshment and enjoyment.

Also speaking at the conference, BBC broadcaster Claudia Hammond introduced a new theory named Holiday Paradox, which looked at why people feel their vacations fly by but later appear to have lasted a lifetime.

Chartered Clinical Psychologist Elaine Iljon Foreman has considered how psychological tools can help people conquer their fear of flying, while a study from Michigan State University published in the journal Annals of Tourism Research found individuals are keen to stay in touch with their loved ones even when thousands of miles away on holiday.