This is the time of year for many–especially those in the chilly north–to dream about sandy beaches, warm weather and getting away for a much-needed vacation. Are you one of these people that doesn’t take them? Some people live for them, while others skip them altogether, opting instead to be the “office hero” who’s always at their desk no matter how worn down and exhausted they get.
I hope you do take vacations.
Because when it comes to improving your life–and that includes your relationships and health, and having enriching experiences–a vacation is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
Why are vacations so important?
According to a study conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the lack of statutory requirement when it comes to mandating employee time off has made the United States the “no vacation nation”–an ignominious distinction when employees in France get 30 days of vacation and those in the UK get 28 per year.
Of course, I am by no means advocating government mandates when it comes to time off (I believe these policies should be baked into the norms of the private sector–which they are). However, the CEPR study does give us insight into how little the US values its vacations–and that’s bad!
A vacation means an opportunity to rest, relax, reconnect and recharge. In the Forbes article “Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life,” the author lists a slew of benefits derived from these breaks from work, which include:
- Improving heart health
- Increasing mindfulness
- Reducing stress
- Boosting brain power
Framing the benefits of the Seven Pillars, it’s clear that a vacation will improve your health. That mental reset will also be good for your career, because when you return to the office, you’ll be more focused and ready to dive back in.
If your vacation involves something like climbing a mountain, skydiving, or flight lessons, that’s something you could chalk up as an achievement.
Want to visit one of the top ten sacred places in the world? That’s a noteworthy experience.
I once had an employee that would take off a week each year to volunteer as a carpenter, building for the underprivileged. That’s a perfect example of giving back.
Does your vacation involve your significant other and your kids? A trip with them might create some fond memories that would strengthen your relationship with them.
What of those people who tend to skip vacations under the pretext that they just don’t have the time?
There was an award-winning show on Showtime called “The Affair,” and in one scene a pregnant young woman seeks advice from a character played by actress Maura Tierney. The young woman is concerned that, with all the things she wants to do, there’s no room in her life for a child. Tierney’s character assures her that she will make room. “You just have to make room for her. Or him… The heart actually does expand. I have no idea how it does it but it always seems to make room for children.”
If it’s for your kids, or your significant other, or even for yourself, you will make room for that much-needed time off and the benefits it will bring.
So improve your life by taking a vacation! It’s an important part of a Bold Life!
P.S. PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success is a complete system for planning your life to get what you want, and has been a top seller in three categories: “Motivational Growth & Spirituality”, “Personal Success & Spirituality” and “Management Skills”. I hope you check it out if you have not purchased a copy.
P.S.S. I will be speaking at an upcoming webinar titled “9 Lightning-Round Solutions for a Tight Talent-Acquisition Market” in March. More details to follow.