How you benefit from taking a vacation!

Family walking on the beach

Today’s families are very busy—too busy to take a vacation some might believe. Add to that financial loss and living in uncertain economic times, and many families feel as though they simply can’t take a break.

However, routines and rituals, like vacations, are important to the health and well-being of families. It’s healthy to take a break from the daily demands of juggling work and home. We should consider the benefits of play and family time together and perhaps redefine what vacation means.

Happiness Benefits:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4.  People who take more vacations are more satisfied with life. When researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center interviewed 1,399 study participants about their vacations, they found that people who participated in more leisure activities “reported more life satisfaction & finding more meaning in life.” So not only will taking time off make you more satisfied, it will also make you feel more purposeful. Don’t be afraid to find the true meaning of life by relaxing on the beach!

Health Benefits:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. You’ll be less stressed. This one’s kind of obvious, but apparently, a lot of people still need to be forced to get off their stressed asses and take vacation. During a vacation, people feel healthier, more energetic, less tense and in a better mood.
  4. You’ll live up to 20 percent longer. A study from the State University of New York at Oswego found that of 12,000 men (ages 35 to 57) surveyed, the ones who go on vacation every year reduce their overall risk of death by 20 percent. Reduce your risk of death and go on vacation.

Work Benefits:

  1. 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.
  2. Step away from work for awhile and enjoy the summer sun. When you come back to work, you’ll have a totally new outlook on life. When you step away from the problems and stresses you’re facing, you’re bound to get a better perspective and come out with a more satisfying answer.
  3. Starting to feel a little burned out? Guess that’s a perfect reason to take a vacation — especially because the time away will actually keep you from letting the fire inside of you die. One of the key benefits of taking time off work is that you won’t feel all the pressures and discouragement that arise once you begin showing symptoms of a burnout.
  4. Taking vacations keeps you from losing the benefits you’re entitled to. Most workers are given paid vacation days; when they don’t take them, they lose them. The Nielson poll also found that 52 percent of people surveyed didn’t take all of their paid vacation days last year. On average, they forfeited about seven paid days of vacation a year. That’s a full week — or one business week and two business days — that they could have spent on vacation while still being paid, but didn’t go.

Some facts were taken from Advanced Behavioral Health.
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