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Three techniques – neural nourishment from the senses, being present with loved ones, and understanding yourself – can help you recharge and redirect your life.

As summer rolls in, the warmth begins, the days grow longer, and our thoughts turn to Christmas and next year. What have I done this year? Could I be better next year? Many Australians take a break from the drudgery of work over summer to spend time with loved ones and recharge the batteries. But how do you maximise your recharge over summer?

One of the biggest myths is that having a holiday is in itself rejuvenating. This is not exactly true.

During their working week, most people do not get the type of stimulation their body needs. Yet, when they go on holiday, they do things they don’t do during the work week. They surf, swim or ride a jet ski. Unless you are in an ultra-progressive law firm, it’s unlikely you are riding a jet ski while meeting clients.

On holidays, you are giving your body what it needs to function. You are nourishing your neural pathways by the activities and sensations you are feeding them, rather than starving them by sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen.

The catch is that when on holiday, this activity is incidental, not instrumental. To shift from incidental neural nourishment to instrumentally improving your brain, you need to identify what sensations you need.

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