This past Thanksgiving weekend, I went to the city to celebrate with family and friends. While I was there, I noticed how alarmingly unhappy people were. No one smiled. No one held doors open for others. And you can forget any kind of personal interaction. It was like everyone was trying to avoid everyone else. It is the holiday season; a time when we are encouraged to focus on what we are thankful for and giving to others. It made me stop and think, why is everyone so unhappy?
People no longer take their vacation time. Vacation time with the family and friends is what brings us together and allows us to rest and rejuvenate so we can more happily participate in our daily lives. So why don’t we, as a country, vacation anymore? We seem to be able to find any way to justify why we don’t (or better yet won’t) take a vacation. The list of excuses is endless, from I cannot afford it or I don’t want to lose ground at the office to I’ll take one next year. Studies have proved that vacations will actually improve all areas of your life. Your stress will go down, which will make you more productive both at home and the office. As Rachel Le Feuvre mostly brilliantly summarizes: “Giving yourself some time away from your job means your practicing self-care, leading you toward greater happiness, health and prosperity in the workplace and beyond.”
Consider how different your life could be if you start to focus a little more on self-care, self-preservation and enjoying everyday life. Start researching that vacation destination that you always wanted to visit and begin making plans today. You’ll be better off because of it in the long run.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln
Many of us are becoming overly consumed by today’s societal pressure to work more hours and earn more money. Not surprisingly, that all comes at a high expense…primarily valuable time with our family and friends. I encourage you to take a step back for a moment and imagine yourself 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now. When you reach those milestone, will you have regrets about the extra hours that you clocked at the office or your children’s soccer games you missed? When you are reminiscing about life, what do you think will matter most – the award you won for surpassing the sales quota at work or the memories you made on that beach vacation to Puerto Vallarta with the family?
Vacations are such an amazing way to build those memories with your friends and loved ones. Take that vacation with your spouse and enjoy the new experiences you will enjoy together. Give your kids the real world experiences in countries they have read about in books. These memories will add life to your years and I can guarantee you one thing and that is the vacations you decide to take will be experiences you will not regret in the end.
A new concept has been proposed for today’s workforce called an “unlimited vacation policy.” To the average American, that may make you cringe. Most of us don’t take our allotted vacations days so the term “unlimited” may be intimidating. In general, Americans take less vacation days than the majority of the world. We are also over stressed, over weight, and not happy overall. Research has proved that taking vacations significantly improves your happiness and productivity. Whether you vacation to a different country or stay local, the benefits are equally rewarding. Take the time to plan your vacation and get away from the things that add stress to your daily life. Your mind, body, friends, and family will thank you. Perhaps the “unlimited vacation policy” would help to remove some of the guilt and stress that many of us associate with taking time off of work as well. Sounds like it could be a win-win scenario for both employers and employees.
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Welcoming in 2014 brings about a lot of reflection of the past year and the start of new goals for the upcoming year. Change is a great thing. One great way to improve your 2014 is to start vacationing more – not because your workplace requires that you take time off, but because you want to treat yourself. Vacations offer a wide range of benefits – less stress, time to relax and reflect, refocus on a hobby or project, or reconnect with your family. Challenge yourself to make a list of 3 places you want to visit in 2014 and start checking them off. They don’t have to be big, extravagant getaways. How about a ski area within driving distance? Or a lake with what is supposed to be the “best bass fishing” in the US? Make the change for yourself in 2014.
Memories are essentially the fibers that make up our entire existence during the course of our lives. It is what connects us to other individuals on our planet. Taking the time away from the busy schedules and work hours offers you some of the best times to create those memories. Think back to when you were a child. What was your favorite vacation as a child? Where did you go? What did you do? Those memories come back so vividly and so quickly. Make sure to slow down from time to time. Let your text messages go unanswered. Leave your emails for another day. Think of a place you have always wanted to visit and go there. Let yourself create those memories with friends and family. It’s one of the best thing you can do for yourself.
Summer is now a fading memory. The first official day of fall is on Sunday. The fall season is a great time to see new parts of the country with the leaves changing colors over the next 3-7 weeks. Why not check out the east coast or Colorado? Stay at one of our fabulous resorts for 7 nights and experience the changing seasons firsthand. Take the time out to relax and renew your mind. With weeks as little as $398.00 per week, you can take an affordable vacation this year.
Studies have shown that taking a vacation can actually improve your performance at work (and possibly increase your income potential). Giving yourself the time to rest can be the difference between being where you are now financially to where you want to be. We are all looking for ways to save money and stretch our dollars. Vacations do not have to be expensive. Take some time off and get away, whether it be to a park down the street from your home or flying to incredible destinations like Orlando, Florida or San Diego, California. Not only will you feel better afterwards, but your friends, family, and colleagues will notice a difference too.