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Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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5 Reasons to Take a Vacation This Year
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) According to statistics, 41 percent of Americans do not take the paid vacations provided to them by their employer.
The most common reasons cited for neglecting to take a vacation are:
· Not having enough time
· Being unable to afford it
· Feeling guilty for taking a break
· Believing they will be replaced
In America, it seems workaholism is the only socially-acceptable form of addiction and, like alcohol or drugs, it can be very harmful to your health.
Here is why you should take a vacation this year:
1. You'll Learn to Let Go
If you take on too many projects, you may feel productive at first but then guilty when you can't meet all your deadlines. Even if you've been going at the same pace for months or even years, the constant stress of a bar raised too high will eventually catch up.
Don't wait until you experience full burnout before taking a vacation. Learning how to delegate your work will not only take a load off, it will help you become more of a team player.
When you let someone else take on your projects for a week, you'll learn to let go of the fear that everything will "fall apart" if you're not available 24/7. Plus, your co-workers will have a chance to develop new skills and become more helpful to you and the company overall.
2. You'll Be More Productive
When you're experiencing burnout, even solutions to minor problems elude you. Day after day, the stress keeps piling up until you're just spinning your wheels. No matter how much you want to, you can't be creative that way. You need a break.
When you take a vacation, you'll gain a fresh perspective on your job and how you can be more successful without the unnecessary stress. Suddenly, those whirling thoughts will slow until they're replaced by real solutions.
3. You'll Be Closer to Your Family
How many times have you skipped a family meal or a weekend outing to catch up on work? You may think you're being more productive but at what cost to your personal life?
Family relationships can easily suffer when you don't take regular breaks. Not only are you physically away most of the time but when you're with your family, you're too stressed to enjoy spending time with them.
When you take a vacation together, it gives you time to reconnect and learn something new about what's going on in the lives of those closest to you. Those who spend more time in leisure activities with friends and family report feeling more connected and supported overall.
This, in turn, helps ease the feelings of isolation and stress that can lead to or worsen burnout.
4. You'll Be Healthier
According to the Wisconsin Medical Journal, women who take regular vacations are less likely to be tired, tense or depressed. When you work too much, you're prone to lose sleep over work, eat while working, and neglect to maintain a healthful, well-balanced diet. Statistics have also shown that men who take a week-long vacation are 32 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack.
5. You'll Grow as a Person
Think of something you've always wanted to try but just never seem to have the time for. A two-week vacation is the perfect amount of time to take an amateur photography class, get into yoga or improve your culinary skills. When you take a break from work, you'll tap into those long-buried creative resources and come back a more well-rounded person.
No Time, No Money, No Problem
Sometimes, a week-long holiday just isn't feasible. That's OK. If you just don't have the time to commit to a full vacation now, take a long weekend. Just three days of rest and relaxation can be enough to recharge your batteries for a busy Monday morning.
(Just be sure to completely unplug from work for that time-period.)
A vacation doesn't have to mean a round-trip flight to some exotic destination. If money is tight, plan some day trips instead. Take the family to the movies or a museum. Hang out at a nearby lake or beach. As long as you're in a relaxing state of mind, that's all that counts.
This year, take a vacation. It just might save your life.
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