If you work for the man and are not using up your vacation days, you should rethink that. Kev has a ton of vacation days left this year and probably won’t have a chance to use them all up. He decided we should take another vacation this year (who am I to argue with THAT?) so we decided to book a cruise for him to use up more vacation days. But it’s hard for him (or I) to really be away more than a week or so at a time due to our pets and other commitments.
The Benefits of Using Your Vacation Time
There are so many benefits of using your vacation time. I have listed a few below.
- Good for your health (less stress, more relaxation)
Speaking of the health benefits of taking time off and travel, this info I found on USA Today says it perfectly,
Taking time away from work and routine allows the body to replenish and repair itself, according to Karen Matthews of Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh, quoted on npr.com. The center surveyed 1,399 participants recruited for studies on cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and other conditions, and found that leisure activities, including taking vacations, contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression among the participants. Other benefits include lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines, reports npr.com.
Women especially seem to benefit from taking vacations, according to a 2005 study conducted by Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal and reported on medicalnewstoday.com. Women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year.
Did you read that? Now I know why we work so hard to take yearly vacations. If I had it my way, we would be taking a lot more. I am working towards that goal but for now 1-2 a year will have to suffice. Here are more benefits of taking time off.
- Have a better outlook on life
- Motivated to achieve goals
- See more of the world
- Spend more time with loved ones
- Help the economy
- Helps with creativity
Just as small breaks improve concentration, long breaks replenish job performance. Vacation deprivation increases mistakes and resentment at co-workers, Businessweek reported in 2007. “The impact that taking a vacation has on one’s mental health is profound,” said Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles specializing told ABC News. “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.” source
Every time we go on vacation, I feel that I am more productive AND creative when I return. And the reboot seems to always be just what I need to help grow my business(es). I truly believe traveling can help ease stress.
This is Kev in Roatan.
Do You Unplug?
Having a business without a lot of help makes it hard to fully unplug. To be honest, I usually don’t unplug. I always check email so I don’t have a million to come back to. Plus I like to keep up on some client work so I’m not on overload when I return. But to be honest, my businesses also help us with said vacations and since I blog, vacation is my business lol
I will however be setting my email vacation notification to away and thankfully we have a house and pet sitter so things are totally covered on the home front with no reason to worry. According to these studies, women who hardly ever took a vacation were EIGHT TIMES more likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than those who took 2+ vacations a year. Ouch!
Our trip coming up this month was planned short notice (our first cruise) so it’s a bit more exciting not having to wait months to leave on vacation like we usually do. I have done a lot of research for this trip in a short amount of time and it’s been really exciting so the anticipation is quite fun.
A study mentioned on the NY Times, finds that your happiness boost comes from planning and anticipation of a trip. They suggest that people might get more from taking a few smaller trips a year rather than one big one.
Here are 7 simple ways to unplug while on vacation that I found interesting. Number 1 and 7 are perfect for me. I hope to take some time to read while sitting on our cabin’s balcony but Kev doesn’t read so we are usually on the go. Maybe I’ll read when he naps!
Since we are going on our first cruise this month, there won’t be much time to connect to the Internet anyway. And from what I hear, even with purchasing an Internet package, the connection is not always that great. Maybe I’ll finally use a journal to keep notes about our trip instead of always being connected while we are away.
What are your thoughts on fully unplugging if you are like me and have a business?
More than HALF of Americans are still not using all the vacation time they earn. *source
Say what? That is crazy but I totally see how it can happen because Kev doesn’t ever use up all of his. I hope to change that in 2019!
Take a Staycation
If you feel you can’t really take a full vacation away from your area have you ever thought of taking a staycation. Staying near your hometown or even driving one state over might do you good. I would much prefer to get out of dodge on a plane and have a change of scenery (umm like a beautiful beach with soft white sand and blue ocean waters) but if that is all you can do, make the most of it and take a staycation.
Did you know 86% of Americans say they have not seen enough of their own country? source
I believe if you take baby steps to start making it a point to take time off and make travel a priority, you’ll be in a much better place. Even happier! And like I mentioned more productive. Don’t get burnt out. Get traveling.
How many vacations do you take a year? If you work outside the home, do you use up all your vacation time?