After returning to Vancouver and commencing a business I was questioning whether or not I should be taking time off this summer for our annual family camping trip. Part of the delight of that trip is to completely disconnect. Something that is becoming increasingly difficult each year.
I know how refreshed I feel when I return, and how much healthier my attitude towards the constant pull of notifications and instant messages is.
As an Australian (many years ago) where four weeks vacation is the normal minimum, I am accustomed to taking time off each year, an added advantage is that the summer holidays coincide with the Christmas holidays!
Moving to North America where two weeks is standard was a shock to my system, and apparently in the US more than half of workers do not even take this time. During my stint in the Caribbean my American boss expected me to be on call when I was on vacation.
Many people were expressing dismay that I was going to be stepping away from a business I am trying to grow, in order to sleep in a tent, hike, bike and lie on the beach – what about your weekly you-tube videos; won’t you lose momentum; how about being available for your clients; what if a new client calls; and don’t forget that continuous networking?
I know in my heart that I am much better at all aspects of my life when I do take this time away, so thought I would do some research and share this information for all of you who would like to be able to justify some downtime, especially those of you in Vancouver, where the summer is so short, and the work will still be there when it is raining again.
Words from the wise…
I turned first to one of my favourites, Marie Forleo – no surprise she echoes my sentiments completely! “A few weeks ago, I read an eye-opening article in Time. It was about the disappearing American vacation and how, as a nation, we’re taking less time off and feeling more exhausted and stressed than ever. The piece talked about the devastating impact chronic overwork has on productivity, health and happiness.” If you would like to read more about her decision to close her business for two weeks, and watch her super fun video you can do so here: https://www.marieforleo.com/2015/08/downtime/.
“The importance and benefits of going on vacation” by the pip https://thepip.com/2015/07/the-importance-and-benefits-of-going-on-vacation/ is worth it just for the restful photographs! This article reinforces the premise that vacations increase productivity, and are therefore good for the workplace and your career (insert growing business). After you have justified this read on – you will be happier and healthier too. With a reduction in stress, your body can recuperate and repair itself, and you will return feeling more satisfied with life in general.
The Huffington Post blog “Health Benefits of Taking a Vacation” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-l-ferguson/health-benefits-of-taking-a-vacation_b_9384466.html lists reduced stress, improved heart, mental and relationship health as benefits, with links to surveys, studies and research for those of you who still need more convincing.
If you would like some practical advice to plan your next trip look no further than Psychology Today! Quoting a study that showed the “personal benefits have been found to include: rest and recuperation from work; provision of new experiences leading to a broadening of horizons and the opportunity for learning and intercultural communication; promotion of peace and understanding; personal and social development; visiting friends and relatives; religious pilgrimage and health; and, subjective wellbeing”, they then go on to offer planning tips and advice for your next vacation. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201006/the-importance-vacations-our-physical-and-mental-health Based on this article I think you would be doing the world a disservice if you didn’t take a break!
To summarize I am going to leave you with 10 reasons why vacations matter:
- Vacations Relieve Stress
- Vacations Help Prevent Heart Disease
- Vacations Help Maintain Focus
- Vacations Help Prevent Illness
- Vacations Improve Your Sex Life
- Vacations Make You Happier
- Vacations Strengthen Relationships
- Vacations Make You More Productive At Work
- Vacations Improve Your Sleep Quality
- Vacations Help You Get Thinner
And you don’t even need to marry a Nigerian prince!
I look forward very much to working with you when I return.
I hope you can find some time to reconnect with yourself and those you love this summer, and I would love to hear all about it when I return.