I am revisiting a post from last year. It is Spring break time in my home town (though you cannot tell it from the weather.) That means many families will be taking a vacation, mostly to warmer climes. I am a big believer in vacations. Unfortunately the last one I had was a two week vacation in Greece two years ago. It was wonderful. I came back fully recharged so I personally know the value of the R & R (rest and relaxation) and the ability to renew yourself. I did return to things feeling much less stressed. But I am in need of another. So at this spring break I wanted to give you some pointers on the value of vacations.
According to Elizabeth Scott, M.S., in The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health there are seven effects that vacations have. These include:
- Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, operating as a vehicle for self-discovery and helping us get back to feeling our best.
- Vacations Stave Off Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
- Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your batteries’, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
- Vacations Promote Overall Wellbeing: One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations.
- Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
- Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, and that can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
- Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways: It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later! That means that vacations are the gift to yourself that keep on giving.
I personally experienced many of the effects of vacation and I am looking forward to doing it again.
I know that many of you cannot afford to take a vacation like I did to years ago. (Though mine was frequent flier miles, time share and hotel points.) But it is still important to try to get that R & R. Even if you are unemployed getting away from your current day-to-day situation will be helpful. Check out Ms. Scott’s article by clicking on the link for some ideas. “Staycations” are an excellent idea. Try it out.