I am thankful to say, "having just returned from Patzcurao, Mexico all nice and mellow, I am ready to tell anyone who will listen the need and benefits for time-out or vacation time." I wondered how, being self-employed, I would take two weeks off without feeling the money squeeze. Well, I managed to pull it off just fine. In fact, Chuck and I stayed with close friends which helped with the expense, and the US dollar goes a long way in Mexico.
A vacation doesn’t need to be costly or long to have benefits. An affordable weekend get-away is far better than none at all. The key is to fully unplug from work and daily tasks. This gives you an opportunity to recharge your body and mind which delivers exponential benefits, both short- and long-term. I am feeling those effects!
You may not need reasons to take time off and call it a vacation, but here are a few research based conclusions about the benefits of vacations in case you have to convince your partner.
1. Reduces Stress
Centerstone, a not-for-profit community-based behavioral health healthcare network, says, “Vacation helps shrink stress and anxiety while boosting the mental and physical health of the entire family.”
2. Helps Your Heart Stay Healthy
Taking an annual vacation has also been linked to a decrease in heart disease.
Heart Study found negative effects on the heart when women do not take vacations. In a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.
3. Improves Your Mental Health
A survey of almost 1400 participants in studies on breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center, found that “Leisure, including vacations, contributed to more positive emotions and fewer negative feelings and depression,” as reported by National Public Radio.
4. Improves Your Relationships
A five-year study of women in rural Wisconsin published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal showed that women who take vacations at least twice per year are “less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriages,” and that the “odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased.”
You can probably come up with more reasons pointing to the need for taking time off. Be creative. You do not need to go far to unplug and take time for yourself and other important relationships. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful state and are close to other states that offer a wide variety of natural settings and city/town activities to meet our needs. The message here is this - make it happen because you, and your precious health and well-being deserve it.