Did you take a vacation this year or skip it because of high gas prices? Americans have always been good at putting off vacations so this year they have a built in excuse. If you passed on a vacation so far and want to be happier and healthier, now is the time to take a vacation!
According to an Expedia.com poll a third of all Americans do not take all their vacation days. The Bureau of Labor Statics says that one quarter of all Americans get no paid vacation! That was a surprise to me although as a business owner in a solo practice I get no paid vacation either.
A recent New York Times article by Alina Tugend entitled "Vacations Are Good For You, Medically Speaking" makes the point that recent studies show that vacations are necessary for good health. The article sites two different health studies (one with females and the other males) that showed a high percentage of coronary problems occur for those who do not vacation regularly.
A vacation gives you time to unwind. It allows you to de-stress and relax. There is research evidence you sleep better during and after your vacation. I have always been amazed that the feeling of relaxed vacation calmness lasts for a few days when I return.
By the way for those who carry cell phones and Blackberries to check on work back at the office on their vacation, there have been studies to show that you are less likely to receive the benefits of vacation according to the NY Times article.
So if you didn't take your vacation yet, now is the time to do it. If you are the type to check in with the office, find a place where cell phones and Blackberries don't work so you can truly relax. (It can be hard to unhook from the cell phone/Blackberry addiction! but worth it.)
If you have young children, vacations with them can be exhausting. That is not the kind of vacation that relaxes! Young families need to take two vacations, one with the family and one for the parents alone.