Everyone loves a great vacation, right?. So then why do the number of unused Vacations Days in the US continue to hit record highs?
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American workers took slightly more vacation in 2015, up to 16.2 days from 16.0 days the year before, according to new research from Project: Time Off. But the meager increase comes as workers received an additional day (21.9 days on average), but used a lower share of vacation time than in 2014.
What can a Vacation do for you?
Count on being more productive if you’re taking vacations. Upon returning from vacation, workers are likely to put more emphasis on the work they have to make up, according to The New York Times. Research says that a lot of that has to do with the way humans are made.
“The importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology. Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously,” The Times reported. “Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.”
Stress Reduction according to according to the US News Reports
“Rest, relaxation, and stress reduction are very important for people’s well-being and health. This can be accomplished through daily activities, such as exercise and meditation, but vacation is an important part of this as well,” said primary care physician Natasha Withers from One Medical Group in New York. Withers lists a decreased risk of heart disease and improved reaction times as some of the benefits from taking some time off.
“We also know that the mind is very powerful and can help with healing, so a rested, relaxed mind is able to help the body heal better,” said Withers
Relationships are enriched according to Advantage Health. 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.
So why don’t Americans take the time? I think most Americans can give you a long list of reasons, from money, advantages in the work place, coming back to so much work, the list could go on and on. The fact is that we must weigh out the advantages as well as the disadvantages. If the advantages equal or outweigh, and they often will, then take the vacation!
Ways to take that vacation time:
Plan ahead- schedule your time off ahead of time. This way your boss, co-workers, employees, everyone knows it is coming. This will allow you the opportunity to make arrangements ahead of time to make sure you are covered during that time. It also prevents time from slipping away!
Budget it in monthly- have a fund set aside, just for vacation. That way when the time comes, the money is there and is not another stressor during your vacation.
Step up and help others during their time off- hopefully they might help you in return. Even if they don’t help in return this can really lessen those feelings of guilt some feel.
Change how you look at vacation- it is more than just relaxing. It is a time to rejuvenate, to rebuild. Burn out will lead to lower productivity, increased difficulty in relationships etc.. A little vacation time can pay off huge dividends in increasing your energy, creativity and energizing you at work. There is only so much you to go around, take care to maximize what you have!
Remember time is short- we do not get it back. Take time to enjoy what you have and who you are with. Believe in the importance in indulging those relationships during a vacation and building memories.
What if you do not have much time, or funds really are tight?
Mini Vacations can be wonderful when time is limited. How many things have you been meaning to do right in your hometown or state, and “have just never had the time”? Take a weekend, or maybe even a long one and dive in!
Staycations are on the rise. When money is tight, staying at home and making day trips can be a wonderful way to make the memories and not bust the bank. Pack your lunch and save a bit more. Research local free activities, the opportunities really do abound!
No time, money or opportunity any time soon? Try a 1 Minute Vacation!
Yes, that’s right, a 1 Minute Vacation! Take 1 minute and envision the most relaxing place you can imagine. If you have been there, even better! But maybe you just dream of it, that’s ok too. Find a comfortable sitting or lying down position (you can do this in the middle of a meeting if you need to!). Close your eyes, or just allow them to stare off.
What do you see? If you were there, think of all the things that you would see, if you dream of let your imagination run wild. Draw a vivid picture in your mind, with all the details you can imagine.
What might you feel? Would it be warm, hot or maybe cold? Would there be sand, a cool wetness in the air, or maybe just the fluffiness of a comfy bed?
What would hear? Take a few moments and imagine the sounds you would hear. Think hard as there are so many sounds that become background noise, like the gentle swishing of air as a breeze blows.
What might you smell or taste? These senses are the senses that can take us too a memory instantaneously. Try to imagine it so well that it actually seems you are smelling or tasting it right now!
Now get back to work, and while you are there get out that calendar and write in your next vacation.
Clearly you enjoy them!