Take a vacation!

Vacations are physically and emotionally good for you.

My husband and I recently returned from'' a 14 day vacation to New Orleans and Gulf side of Florida. It was wonderful! Our goals were to experience Mardi Gras, get warm and rest. I have always been re-energized after taking a vacation. Research shows that my husband and I are doing the right thing. Yet, many people lose vacation days every year. By not getting away from everyday routine and work, people are missing out on many benefits. So what are these benefits?

Let’s begin with the health benefits. By taking a vacation or staycation, your body is allowed to replenish and repair itself. This time away from the everyday grind will provide an opportunity to decrease and/or remove stressors. If stress is not managed it causes our immune system to weaken. We sleep less.  Mentally, we become more irritable, depressed and anxious; our memory capacity decreases and we make poor decisions. The break provides our bodies and minds the opportunity to regenerate and in return we gain a healthy perspective of our situation in a positive way.

To assist with this, Michigan State University Extension offers a stress management program called RELAX that will give you additional ideas on how to manage stress and anger in a positive way. To find classes near you, go to the MSU Extension calendar of events.

Many of the best ideas are generated away from the job. Without work pressures, we tend to think clearer, especially when we turn off all the electronic gadgets. With the added benefits of not dealing with deadlines, email and phone calls,  our brain refreshes and becomes more efficient. In return, this allows us to be more creative.

The Vacation Deprivation study found that there are productivity benefits as well. Employees that take vacations feel better about their jobs and are more productive when they return. The study found that employees who don’t use their vacation time are often physically present but not there mentally. They are not contributing to their best ability.

It has been one week since I returned to work and I can tell the difference. I feel rested and relaxed.  So, do yourself, your family and your employer a favor and take some time off for a vacation. It will do your mind and body good!

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