The sun is shining and summer is upon us. It’s a sweet reminder of all of the fun and excitement this season brings. Picnics, swimming pools, outdoor activities– and the best of all, vacation. Even that word alone can stir up some of the best imagery in our minds; relaxing by the beach while reading a book in the sunshine, hiking and camping in the Smokey Mountains, the fresh air on the rocks of Colorado, and the excitement of adventuring to new places you’ve never visited before. For some of you, maybe all of that sounds exhausting and all you want to do is simply do nothing. Regardless of what comes to your mind when you hear the word “vacation,” we think simply taking one should be a priority. Often juggling our career and family can be enough to overload our minds and schedules. Then planning time away is moved to the bottom of the list.
We understand the obstacles to planning time away. Your business can be a big one. In our last blog, we discussed the importance of stepping away from your business and truly disconnecting. We believe it is essential for the success and health of a business, and the research is there to prove it. We also believe it is essential for personal health and wellness and here’s why:
Vacation is Generally Good for Your health
We know stress is bad for our health, but are we living like we know it? A lifestyle of stress deteriorates our bodies and wears on our hearts. The New York Times reported on data from “The Framingham Heart Study” that followed women over 20 years. Women who took vacations once every six years or less were eight times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or develop coronary heart disease compared to women who took two vacations per year.
Additionally the Times reported on another study that looked at 12,000 men over nine years who were considered high risk for heart disease. Those who did not take vacations were 21 percent higher risk of death from all causes and 32 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack and die. There is no doubt, a long term lifestyle of stress wears on your body. And vacations help lower certain health risks.
You Sleep Better
Less stress, less responsibility, less to do usually equals better sleep. If you can truly mentally disconnect (we know it’s hard!) research shows you will sleep deeper and give your body an opportunity to truly rest and heal. Think about how good you feel after a well-rested night of sleep. You feel refreshed, energized, and it even improves your memory and cognitive function. We encourage you to read more here about how great sleep can improve your overall health.
Vacation is Great for Family Bonding
Making memories with your family are one-of-a-kind experiences that you will never regret. Getting out of your normal routine and experiencing new things together as a family draws you closer and deepens family ties. You laugh, adventure, and face obstacles all together. No matter what your current family looks like, a vacation is a great reminder that there are more important things in life than our work. Don’t get us wrong, our work is very important. But our guess is that you will not likely look back in life and wish you’d worked more and spent less time with the ones you love.
It Helps Prevent Burnout
We’re overwhelmed. Exhausted. Can’t take any more. A simple vacation can be the start of a whole new you. It’s space and time for you to clear your mind and just rest. Experience all life has to offer and make memories that will last a lifetime. Regardless of your career, a vacation can renew our creativity, passion, and vigor to work hard and work with excellence. If you are managing staff, it gives you a break from being in a position of being needed.
Take The First Step
So what’s the first step? Look at your calendar and plan that week. Even if you don’t know what you will be doing yet, go ahead and block that week off. Having it blocked off is the first step in committing to it. For practical steps on getting away from work we suggest you read here. Once you have committed, get with your friends, family, or even off by yourself and start dreaming! What is something you have always wanted to do? A place you have dreamed of visiting? No matter your ideal spot, we just hope you find rest and renewal in your upcoming vacation.
Here are some dreamy places to inspire you:
Here are more resources for travel inspiration:
If your business hinders you from taking a week vacation, it’s time for a change. Being unable to step away isn’t healthy for you or your business. Signup for our upcoming workshop, “How to Build a Business That Works (So You Don’t Have to),” to learn how to create a healthy business that you can work ON instead of IN.