Now that the summer season is upon us, many of you are thinking of vacation. Although every year we look forward to our break from everyday life and our jobs, how many of you actually come back feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and ready to delve back into the grind?
I recently came back from a wonderful trip, seeing parts of the world I had never seen before. For that I’m immensely grateful. However, upon my return I realized that I had not completely disconnected from my life back home. Every day I connected to my emails and in fact, kept working whenever I could spare the moment. If I’m not feeling completely refreshed, it’s really of my own doing but it got me to wonder how many of you feel the same way? Do you completely disconnect from your emails and leave work issues back at work? Do you forget about the run-ins with the in-laws or the list of to-do’s that still await you? How many of you are really able to decompress and just ‘be’ in the moment with your loved ones?
If not now, when? Time is now!
BENEFITS OF VACATION
Some believe that vacation is as important as sleeping. When you are in a constant state of fight or flight, your body is continuously stressed. In an article from Psychology Today, June 22, 2010, “Chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body's ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even ability to avoid injury. When you're stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you're more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won't digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you'll make poorer decisions. You'll also be less fun to be with, causing you to become more isolated, lonely, and depressed.” So there you have it. Taking time away is vitally important to your overall wellness. Just as sleep helps you heal, a vacation can help you do that too.
Sorry, couldn't resist!
Vacations make people happier. When was the last time you didn’t look forward to taking one? Just think about how you feel on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend? Don’t you feel excited for the break you’re about to have? In fact, research shows that after a holiday, workers feel less tense and stressed. The refreshed state makes you feel better able to cope with issues that likely would have made you pull your hair out prior to your break. A calmer, energized state allows for a more positive outlook.
Vacations make people happier.
Employers find that workers are far more productive after they’ve had a holiday. Often they are able to provide new and refreshing perspectives on projects and are able to tackle them with far more gusto than they did prior to being away. Some employers provide outstanding vacation benefits to their employees and I have a lot of respect for them as they understand the importance of taking a break. Other employers (and you know who you are) only offer the absolute minimum (i.e., one week after one year of employment and two weeks after that, if you’re lucky). Perhaps they need to read this article about the importance of vacation!
How many vacation days have you accumulated? Take them! Remember to limit your use of technology and just be with your families. Enjoy!