Road trip! Cruise time! All-inclusive Beaches and Resorts! The lists goes on and on for what we define as a vacation. We all need them, the long and the short ones. Summer is coming to an end and that is when most people plan their vacations, although a lot of us will take them anytime of year. Taking vacations are not just fun, but they are also good for our health, physical and mental health. We need an occasional break from the hustle and bustle of work, schedules, and family lives we run.
I was looking at some statistics and a 2014 Employment Confidence survey says that the average U.S employee takes half of their vacation time. Out of those people, three out of five do some type of work on vacation and 25% of them are answering calls from coworkers and supervisors about work-related issues. They are still working!! This cannot be good. Taking time away from the workplace has great health benefits so not only should we take time away physically, but we should distance ourselves completely. It is only temporary. If we prepare them to function without us, it is possible to really take a real vacation and enjoy it. If we do not take advantage of our vacations, we are shortchanging ourselves from those benefits. What benefits?
- Decrease in heart disease. The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease conducted a trial of 12,000 men over nine years. These men had high risk factors. The study found that the ones who took a frequent annual vacation were 21% less likely to die from any cause and 32% less likely from heart disease. Women who did not take a vacation were eight times more likely to develop coronary artery disease or even have a heart attack in comparison to those who took at least two vacations a year.
- Less Stress. When you are removed from activities and environments (an some people) that tend to be the source of our stress, it can reduce our stress. The time away gives you a chance to care for your emotions and relax.
- Decreased depression. Leisure activities and vacations contribute to higher positive emotions so that will mean less depression. Even a day long get-a-way to the beach can benefit you. A vacation will lower our blood pressure and can also result in a smaller waistline too.
- You will be more productive. When I come back from a vacation, I am rejuvenated! I have gotten a chance to clear my mind and relax my body and now I can perform better at work. Before that vacation, I may have been thinking about quitting altogether, but now I am ready.
Vacationing, however you choose to do it, helps you to achieve balance in your life and keep you functioning at optimal health. It is important that we take care of ourselves and learn to manage stress and enhance our wellness so that we can take care of our daily responsibilities and face our challenges, getting positive results. Right now as you are reading this, hopefully, I am in the Western Caribbean enjoying some fun in the sun (Hurricane Irma??). Some time I believe that I have earned and can’t wait to experience. So get out there and relax…it is good for you!