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Why Getting Away for a Few Days Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing After 60

Oh no, not more health advice!

We are bombarded these days with advice about what to eat and when, what exercise to take and how often, not to mention all those things we are not supposed to do, like enjoying a good glass of wine.

I am not a health expert, and I don’t even like giving people advice. But I do have a little recommendation for your general sense of wellbeing – get away for a few days.

Home Bodies

By and large, people are home bodies. We like being in the place we know – sleeping in our own bed, cooking with our own frying pan, everything set up as we like for the life we have chosen. I presume this is an even stronger urge as we grow older.

It can be hard to budge us at times.

But I strongly recommend taking a break from the routine, however happy you are with it. You don’t need to go for long ­– even a day or two can bring an enormous sense of refreshment. Just go somewhere else and live a slightly different life on occasion.

You might be surprised with the effect.

Having a Break

The best break is probably a complete one. I live in the middle of London – and I love it ­– but I just returned from an enjoyable three-night stay in the countryside.

My husband and I took a few walks, visited an old friend, drove around to see the very gorgeous views, and generally relaxed in the complete change of surroundings.

The air felt different. The views were different. We even saw a deer leaping through the bracken, presumably trying to get away from our car. Now that is a long way from our urban life.

But perhaps you live in the country. Why not take a short trip to a nearby or even distant city – see the sights, take in a show, enjoy the odd shops and walk around. Although the content of your trip will be very different from mine, you will come back just as refreshed.

A change is as good as a rest, they say. Perhaps that should be, a change provides a rest.

Keeping the Cost Low

Perhaps you are watching your pennies. A short break need not be expensive. Some of us love the luxury of a nice hotel, but we also get a good break in a simple B&B.

You might even stay with friends – perhaps an exchange. You do not have to eat out, although that brings its own pleasures. In short, you can have a break and still keep costs to a minimum.


Holidays are those planned vacations we take to a place we have always wanted to visit. If you want a real change you might decide to go on a major trip to a foreign country or, indeed, continent.

Or it might be a regular journey to visit your children and grandchildren who live far away.

Such holidays have, of course, the same effect. They take you away from your routine and expose you to new – or different – things. But they can be a major headache to plan for and are much more expensive.

Coming Home

Strangely, one of the nicest things about a short break is coming home. Home is the place you feel most comfortable, but suddenly, after your trip away from it, it feels new and different. You see it with new eyes. And you are very happy to be there.

Have you been on a short break recently? Where did you go? Did you come back refreshed? Please share your experience and any interesting story you brought home.

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The Author

Ann Richardson’s most popular book, The Granny Who Stands on Her Head, offers a series of reflections on growing older. Subscribe to her free Substack newsletter, where she writes fortnightly on any subject that captures her imagination. Ann lives in London, England with her husband of sixty years. Please visit her website for information on all her books:

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