ANOTHER VIEW Thinking about skipping that vacation time you have available? No. – Times News Online


The day had finally come. We finished crossing items off the take out list, made reservations, completed last minute chores, and packed all of our bags.

We eagerly counted the hours before we locked the house and plugged in our Airbnb address.

We were leaving.

This address, which is in Connecticut, was supposed to be the Philadelphia Airport. We had planned a week’s vacation to Walt Disney World and Fort Myers, Florida.

Then the Delta variant hit, mask requirements eased, cases were on the rise again in many states, and it looked like our son might not be able to get the COVID-19 shot at the time of our trip.

So we made the best decision for our family and asked our travel agent to move our stay and flights early next year.

But one thing was for sure – we were still moving away, to a place where we felt healthier safer, during our originally planned vacation period. It was a decision that was extremely important to us, not only as a family but also individually for my husband and I as employees.

“Taking a vacation is essential to the survival of employees. Indeed, being absent from work is an integral part of well-being, sustained productivity and high performance, “writes Caroline Castrillon in a Forbes.com article on May 23 entitled” Why taking a vacation could make you feel better. save the life.

Research shows that taking a vacation is good for you in every way. The Forbes.com article lists several benefits of taking time off work.

• Increases Mindfulness – Often times when people take vacations they are more present and fully involved in the experience. They can even feel at peace.

“When we travel, we usually break our normal routine,” says Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, quoted in the Forbes article. “This decrease in familiarity is an opportunity for most people to be more fully present, to really wake up.”

This is exactly how my husband and I felt when we honeymooned in Florence and Rome, Italy. Nothing can compare to walking the old streets of Europe, filled with history, culture, fabulous food, amazing architecture and much more. We were mesmerized. We were aware of taking everything into account.

• Improves heart health – An example recognized by the article included a nine-year study that followed more than 12,000 middle-aged men at high risk for heart disease. The results showed that men who took more vacations in a year were less likely to die from health reasons; this included heart attacks and other cardiovascular struggles.

“Taking regular vacations could help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome – a set of health problems including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels,” Castrillon writes. “All of these symptoms increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes.”

• Reduces stress – A minimal amount of stress at various times is not a bad thing; in fact, it can be good, as in the case of combat or flight modes. But when this stress becomes repetitive and at a high level, it evolves into chronic stress.

“A study published by the American Psychological Association concluded that free time helps reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments they associate with anxiety,” Castrillon reports.

Everyone is stressed and to varying degrees regarding family life, job responsibilities, financial issues, health issues, the unexpected loss of a loved one and more. This is, in many cases, inevitable. Add a pandemic, well, enough said.

This is why making sure you take time off from work is one thing you can do to help relieve the stress you are feeling from life’s exits.

Yes, some of the issues will still be there when you come back. But taking that time off gives your body, mind, and spirit the rest they need to rebuild strength and stamina.

• Increases intellectual capacities – When you take time off, this freedom allows your brain to relax. When your brain relaxes, knowledge and intelligence come together. For example, when you are running, showering or bathing, relaxing by the fire or on vacation, this is often when some of your best ideas, thoughts and aha moments come to light. .

I experience it on my training walks. I don’t always have mind-blowing epiphanies, but I notice that my brain feels relaxed – and sort of very focused at the same time – and it lets me think about how to better handle situations, which I need to do. prioritize for the rest of the day, what am I looking forward to during the week and how absolutely gorgeous Mother Nature is.

“Adam Galinsky, professor and president of the division of management at Columbia Business School, has led many students making the connection between travel and creativity,” writes Castrillon. ““ Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and the depth and integration of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms, ”Castrillon quotes Galinsky in the article.

Hitting the sidewalk clears the trash and stress from my head, so I can focus on improving myself and my family. If I feel this on a mile walk, imagine how taking an entire vacation is for my brain!

• Improves Sleep – Think back to a time when you had a horrible night’s sleep. How did you feel when you woke up? I guess it’s not good. How was the rest of the day? Did you need a nap or another cup of coffee in the afternoon? You have a headache ? In today’s world, we have a lot on our minds. One way to alleviate restless nights is to take a vacation.

“A study by New Zealand Air asked participants on vacation to wear a device on their wrist that would monitor their sleep quality from three days before their vacation until three days after their return. They also kept a sleep diary and were measured for reaction times before, during and after their trip, ”Castrillon reports in the article. “Research found that after two to three days of vacation, participants had an average of one hour of good quality sleep and experienced an 80% improvement in their reaction time. When they returned home, they were still sleeping almost an hour longer and their reaction time was 30-40% faster than before the trip.

I’m not a doctor, but all of these vacation effects seem pretty good to me. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a vacation to reap the health benefits of a getaway – that’s not necessarily how luxurious your trip is. The simple fact that you take the time to de-stress, relax, absorb, rejuvenate, and grow is what matters no matter how or where it happens.

Your leave from your employer, if any, is there for a reason. Take it and enjoy the rewards.

Have a good trip!

Stacey A. Koch

editorial assistant

Whitehall-Coplay Press

Northampton Press

Catasauqua press


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