I wrote a tip sheet the other day after reading a quote by Tim Hansel from his book, “When I Relax I Feel Guilty“. Read the tip sheet HERE.
The idea of “relaxing” is often something that is far from our minds. We are driven to work hard, to make our lives count, and to be responsible. Where did the idea of relaxing become such a negative thing?
I’m preparing for a short vacation with my wife, and was thinking through some goals for my time away. They’re pretty simple: Relax. Enjoy time with Gina. Enjoy time with friends. Play. Rest. Laugh. That’s it. What part of this is negative?
Elizabeth Scott wrote a blog titled “The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health”. She mentions 7 ways that vacations are really important and really healthy. I’ll comment on each of her seven.
#1) Vacations Promote Creativity
We feel good when we rest, play and take our minds off of our work. This renews creativity and passion!
#2) Vacations Stave Off Burnout
When we take time to relax, we can avoid burnout. Some people live real close to the line, but the more often we can step away, the longer we’ll last.
#3) Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy
When you catch up on sleep and you relax, your body is refreshed.
#4) Vacations Promote Overall Wellbeing
Scott writes: “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.”
#5) Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds
Spending time with loved ones or good friends renews relationships and strengthens them.
#6) Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance
When we have an improved quality of life, this leads to an increased quality of work.
#7) Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways
Stepping away from stress is a relief. We all know what happens if we don’t do this. Vacations promote health!
Now, there are a couple of things you need to know:
*Longer vacations are BETTER: It takes a couple of days for your body to shut down and for you to actually rest. A 3-day trip is good, but not as good as a 7-day trip.
*Some vacations actually make you WORSE. They create stress, they are hard on relationships and you come back exhausted! Be sensible and realistic. Figure out what you really want to do and what you really need. We’ve done vacations that have included sitting on the beach for 5 days straight and we’ve done vacations where we traveled throughout a country for 2 weeks. Both are good. Figure out what you need and plan for it.
*Don’t overspend. Vacations don’t have to be expensive! Some of our best vacations are when we just stay home and change our routine. If you add the stress of finance to a vacation plan, you might be working against yourself.
*Don’t put it off. Do something NOW.
There’s a reason most companies and organizations provide vacations days. They see the value and the need for this. You should too.
If you don’t get paid to have a vacation, you still need it. Figure out how to add something into your life that will allow you to rest, renew and refresh.