Many of us live very stressful lives. Our careers, family responsibilities, social interactions, and personal obligations can really take a toll on us and eventually it’s time to rest and regroup!
How do we do that?
With a vacation, an essential activity that has to be put on your calendar and taken… no matter what! Even God rested on the seventh day after he finished creating our perfect world!
According to a number of surveys, as many as 35% of workers don’t take their vacations each year, and those that do often bring the laptop and Blackberry with them. Wow — now that’s a real vacation huh?
Vacations are important — they provide time to relax, refresh and regroup — physically, mentally and spiritually. They’re required for optimum health and, unfortunately, they’re not often included along with sleep, proper nutrition, chiropractic care and exercise in the health-conscious person’s “tool kit.”
Why do you need to take a vacation? Consider these reasons:
• Those who take annual vacations decrease their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30%.
• If you think you are too valuable in your job to leave, consider this — vacations lower stress levels and allow you valuable time to “recharge your energy batteries” so you come back in a more productive frame of mind.
• Time away from the office and regular family obligations relieves anxiety and helps you with self-introspection. You can focus on changes you need to make in your life and what you’d like to do differently.
• Vacations allow you time to visit new places and see new things. It shouldn’t be a whirlwind activity or you will return feeling more stressed out than when you left. Think about how many times you’ve heard (or used) the expression: “I need a vacation to get over my vacation.” It shouldn’t be all about packing in as much as you can. Sure, you can see the sights, but make sure to build in plenty of “idle” time too.
• Vacations are a great time to explore your creative side, to spend some time discovering who you are and what you like. Vacation time is also time to explore your more adventurous side by trying out a new activity, such as hang-gliding or scuba diving, especially if you work in a conservative environment that fails to nurture this side of you!
Even if you can’t get a week or two away, long weekends or shorter trips can be just as beneficial. The worst thing that you can do for your health is not to take any “down-time” at all. This only fosters the stress and burnout that leads to all types of sickness — sickness that affects your job performance, your close relationships, your spiritual centeredness and, ultimately, your mental and physical health.
So when it comes to taking a vacation? Just do it!
Dr. Steven L. Levy is a chiropractor in Woodbury.