It pays in more ways than one to take a vacation
When you take a vacation,a real vacation, where you completely unplug (or extremely limit your check-ins) with work, you may be amazed at the wonderful benefits that will come to you.
You focus on things you want and like to do and this has a variety of benefits to your physical and mental health.
The fact is, careers are time-consuming and at times, challenging and stressful.
Getting away from your responsibilities and focusing on yourself can do wonders.
Reconnecting with yourself, your partner and family can positively impact other areas of your life.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially business owners, take very little time off each year.
And while many consider long weekend holidays, that isn’t enough to get the true benefits of a couple weeks on vacation.
So put down the phone, tuck away your laptop and seriously think about these eight reasons why vacations are necessary for your health…
Stress can have a negative effect on all aspects of your health–physically, mentally and emotionally.
Headaches, back pain, anxiety, irritability, lack of concentration and frustration are just a few of the harmful effects of stress.
In today’s world, we lead busy lives and often our crazy schedules and the pressure we put on ourselves eventually turns into stress.
Stress can even cause you to gain weight, especially around the middle.
Holidays will not only help you relieve stress, but can help you manage it better when you get back to the real world.
2. Clear Your Head
Life is hectic and your brain is often overworked.
It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Always being on the go and taking care of your many responsibilities in both your personal and professional life can cause you to feel frazzled, confused and overwhelmed.
Vacations can alleviate these problems, giving you a fresh perspective and calming your nerves.
Taking a break from a jam-packed schedule will noticeably lower your anxiety.
Even better, clearing your head and slowing things down often leads to great ideas and a fresh perspective when you head back to your job and normal routine.
3.Build your Immune System
A busy life wears you down.
You can fight it all you want but eventually everything will get to be too much and exhaustion will set in.
When you’re tired and stressed from work and your home life, you’re more susceptible to catching the cold and flu that makes its way through your office or kid’s class.
With work and responsibilities comes stress.
This can actually promote the risk of disease because of your immune system’s uncontrolled reaction when it comes into contact with a virus.
Vacations can help relieve stress, allowing your immune system to build back up.
Without the break, your body likely won’t be able to properly fight off viruses and other diseases.
4. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
When you don’t take your allotted vacation days, you could be doing serious damage to your heart health.
In Europe several weeks of vacation are not only paid but regulated and mandatory by law.
However, a lot of North Americans don’t even take the standard two weeks.
But skipping out on vacation can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attacks.
Several studies show that taking a yearly vacation can lower your risk of heart problems by a staggering amount.
According to a Framingham Heart Study, men are around 30-percent less likely to die from a heart attack.
Women have a 50-percent lower risk of having a heart attack.
5. Increased Happiness
While it would be nice if everyone found the job of their dreams and loved every minute of working, the fact is, many people don’t find this type of career satisfaction.
And even if you love what you do, foregoing happiness on a personal level will eventually catch up to you.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and being happy goes a long way to mental stability.
Happiness and good mental health can help you cope better with and prevent life’s stresses.
Spending time with family or some well earned time alone allows you to enjoy life in a way you aren’t able to if you don’t use your vacation days.
6. Better Quality of Sleep
The stresses from a busy life greatly impact your quality of sleep–restlessness, insomnia and not enough sleep hurts your health.
It’s now common to be plugged into work right up until bed time.
Many people sleep with their phone.
They answer emails late in the evening or during the night when they should be allowing their body the rest it needs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you don’t get quality sleep, you put yourself at risk of getting sick more easily.
The long-term effects can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Vacations allow you to break this routine, resulting in more peaceful sleep, as well as sleeping for longer.
7. Improved Family Health
Day-to-day routines and responsibilities get old fast.
It can seem that days fly by without you really absorbing everything that makes life worth living.
And you’re not the only one in your household who may be feeling disconnected and on auto-pilot.
A happy home life will positively impact other aspects of your life.
In turn, problems at home can negatively affect work and other relationships and increase stress.
By taking a vacation and reconnecting with your family, friends and loved ones, you’ll feel emotionally fulfilled a requirement of good health.
8. Rejuvenate Your Body
People who take regular vacations can likely relate to how the time off allows you to rejuvenate your body, increasing your energy levels and providing a more positive outlook.
With busy lives where you’re always on the go, your energy can be seriously lacking.
Because of this, exercising regularly becomes less and less frequent, putting your health at risk and losing the happy endorphins from workouts.
Going on vacation can snap you out of the less healthy routine you’ve had going and give you a fresh perspective.
In the meantime, before you plan your dream vacation, try practicing the following so as to prevent stress from getting too much of a hold on you:
The key is to not stress too much about stress.
There are a few simple things will help you make sure that the fire in your belly is the fuel you need for your next big idea — not an ulcer eating away at you.
Did you ever notice how some people aren’t bothered by things that drive you mad?
Take a lesson from meditating Buddhists and strive to see everything as stress-less.
The idea is that objects cannot be stressful all by themselves — you have to interpret them that way.
It’s worth it to practice reframing stress into something positive.
For instance, when you practice seeing a rejection by a client as just another step toward the ‘yes’ you’ll eventually get from another prospect, you don’t become paralyzed and stressed from it.
You keep moving forward. This is key for sales people.
This is one of the quickest stress-busters.
It counteracts cortisol and it allows your brain to learn and think about new things.
When you’re serious, you’re most likely in a protection mode; only solving old problems, not creating a new future.
Read funny jokes. Find funny people.
Watch funny videos on YouTube.
Laugh all the way to the bank.
If you’re running as hard and fast as most entrepreneurs, stress inevitably will find you.
But, with a change of perspective, sleep and space in your day to download, you bring out your best problem-solving, creative-thinking, collaboration-making self.
It’s wisdom in action.
Have a truly enjoyable vacation with your family and friends.
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