We tend to focus on topics of how to increase effectiveness and efficiency in this column as well as how to strive for heightened performance.
This one will be completely different.
Today we are going to highlight the benefits of getting away from it all and taking a vacation.
Why focus on taking a vacation?
According to advantagebehavioral.org there are at least 5 benefits to taking a vacation. These are:
Vitamin D is free
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and keeping the immune systems and nervous system functioning normally. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin made by the body, in the skin, from exposure to sunlight. While this essential nutrient is available as a supplement, spending some time outdoors each day (as little as 5-15 minutes) can provide the needed benefits. The best part: the sun is free! Further, preliminary research suggests Vitamin D can help prevent various forms of cancer, including breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Play is not just for kids
Taking time to play has powerful benefits for children and adults. Play has been said to be the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness. Play is just as important as sleep! Play involves anticipation, surprise and pleasure. Adults who play can enjoy freedom from time, rules and responsibilities, bringing balance to their busy lives.
Relationships are enriched
Spending time together enriches a marriage, which strengthens the family foundation. Through traditions and rituals, such as vacations, any relationship can be enriched. Vacations and other traditions make memories and are the glue that binds us. Vacation can provide an opportunity to talk with one another, learn new skills or discover new interests.
Children feel love, support and safety
Children who witness their parents and grandparents having fun, laughing and enjoying life learn valuable lessons about life. Spending time together as a family provides children with feelings of love, support and safety, which are key components for thriving in today’s uncertainties.
Vacation time shrinks stress
Vacation helps shrink stress and anxiety while also boosting the mental and physical health of the entire family. We need a brain break, a detour from deadlines and a timeout from technology! It takes effort to unplug from the ever-spinning world around us, but one’s mind, body and spirit will be renewed by re-plugging into the joys of quality time with family and friends. Isn’t it time for you to take a break?
There are certainly other benefits as well.
According to NPR.com that quoted Karen Matthews of the Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh:
“Taking time away from work and routine allows the body to replenish and repair itself”
NPR.com further stated: “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.”
Need further reasons? According to the Huffington Post:
Stave off a heart attack
In a study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease, those who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were found to be 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week off each year. Even missing one year’s vacation was associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
What if you are a woman? According to :
Women who take vacations frequently are less likely to become tense, depressed or tired and are more satisfied with their marriages, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wis.
The study, published in a recent issue of the Wisconsin Medical Journal, found that the odds of depression and tension were higher among women who took vacations only once in two years compared with women who took vacations twice or more per year. In addition, the odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased.
The evidence is clear. If you can afford even just a week off, take it. Do yourself, your spouse or significant other, your children and your marriage some good and spend time with those you love. The one thing that none of us can bank is time. No better time to take a vacation than now in the nice hot summer!