Ironman and I are not afraid to pack up and get out of town.  To some, it may seem like we are always on the go, but there is a method to this madness.  Instead of live to work, we want to work to live.  Instead of collecting things, we want to collect memories.  I know that "you only live once" is used way too often, but it is important to slow down and take care of ourselves and our loved ones while we are still able.  Here are 6 reasons why I think that every single person needs to take vacation:

1.  RELIEVE STRESS - Most of us work hard at work and then come home and work hard at home.  We are burdened with responsibility and totally exhausted, but have just learned how to handle it and keep going.  Although this may be necessary, it's not always good.   Over time, stress can cause serious health issues and early signs of aging.  So, it's important for us to take time to relax and rest.  This can be as simple as reading a good book on the front porch one evening or even taking a long, uninterupted nap on a Sunday afternoon.  However, many people simply cannot do something like this while at home...that's why we need to get out of our house and our normal routine so that we are forced to slow down.  

Redwoods National Park
2.  QUALITY TIME - Since many of us are so busy, we don't get enough time to nurture our important relationships.  Friends and family are often put on the back burner while we are just trying to get through our days.  Taking a vacation with loved ones is a great way to set aside quality time to spend together and catch up.  However, if you really just need some alone time, consider taking some quality time with you...take yourself on a nice, quiet getaway!

3.  DREAM AND SCHEME - When we are home and feeling bogged down with life, it is hard to look at the big picture, dream and set goals.  However, each time Ironman and I get away for even a day, I immediately notice that our conversation changes.  Instead of talking about immediate issues and concerns, we end up talking about the bigger picture things.  I love how we always return home with new ideas and, usually, a new item for our Bucket List!

St Louis Arch
4.  SEE THE WORLD - Speaking about Bucket Lists, when you get out of town, you are getting out of your own little bubble and your world view is expanded just a little wider.  The more I travel, the more my perception of the world grows and changes.  I see how different people are, but how alike they are.  I am reminded how small I am, but how big God is.  I get out of my comfort zone, but learn more about myself each time.  It is really good to be reminded that there is more out there than just me and my own little life.

St Lucia
5.  IMPROVED ATTITUDE - While planning an upcoming vacation, we spend lots of time looking up places on Pinterest, dreaming up ideas, laying out the details and so much more before we actually go on the trip.  This means months and months (sometimes) of exciting conversations that begin with "what if?!?!?!".  Isn't it fun to hear about an upcoming trip that a friend is planning?  Don't you get excited for them just hearing them talk about it?  Aren't you inspired to plan your own trip when you see their eyes light up while talking about theirs?  Just like your them, aren't you happier about your life when you are planning and talking about an upcoming event that you can't wait to see through?

Hartsville, SC
6.  INSPIRE OTHERS - The more you take time for yourself, the more you show others that it is important to you.  Imagine what it would be like to work with people who are all planning upcoming vacations and feeling excited about it.  Isn't that a much better environment than tired, stressed out co-workers?  Attitudes are contagious, so make yours a good one.  Plus, you'll be a better you when you are not burned out.

I can't remember where I saw this, but years ago I read an article on how much vacation people need.  I think that the article was written by a European man, but I can't recall anything else.  What I do recall, however, is how much vacation time he believed in (because I was totally onboard!!!).  Here is what he believed people needed for optimal health and wellness...

1 day per week...for example, do nothing but rest at home alone all day Sunday
1 weekend per month...for example, go out of town for two nights with your spouse
1 week per quarter...for example, rent a place on the beach or go on a cruise, etc. with friends
1 month per year...for example, go camping with your family every August
1 year every 7 years...for example, work 6 years and save enough money during that time to take off the 7th year and travel the world (this one I thought was the absolute best, but craziest)

Do you take enough time off to rest and relax?  When you do, can you tell how much better you feel, how much more focused you work, how much more positive your attitude is and how much smoother your relationships go?

No comments:

Post a Comment