The Health Benefits of Vacationing
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~Shared by J. Ranner
“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back.”
Try all that you want, but I don't think anyone can make a convincing argument against Mr. MacKay's quote. Time is finite. We're all here for a set number of breaths, and there's really not much we can do to change the nature of the Universe, aside from fashioning DeLoreans with flux capacitors and traveling at 88 MPH (another discussion for another time).
So in this crazy world we live in, no matter how wild and hectic things can get, it's important to not only do the things you love but to also remember to take a break when things get hectic. Scientific studies have shown time and time again that vacations not only provide you and your family with cherished memories but also multiple health benefits.
A particular study through the University of Pittsburgh citing the benefits of vacationing coinidentally started off as a study of human longevity. What kind of habits and behavior ultimately led to longer lives? During the course of the nine-year study, researchers discovered that on the whole, vacationers tended to live longer. In addition, their minds and bodies were healthier than those who didn't vacation.
In the long run, there aren't just health benefits to a vacation; it can help boost productivity when you find yourself in the doldrums. "The Vacation Deprivation Survey" (not making that up...) found that 34% of vacationers feel better about their jobs and genuinely recharged after taking a break from work. So employers take note . . . happy and reinvigorated employees contribute to a healthier bottom line. Depressed and unmotivated employees play Minesweeper from dawn to dusk.
Not to point the finger of blame, but American culture and law may not exactly be helping the cause. We are the only nation in the industrialized world that does not require paid leave through law. On a personal level, I feel it's sometimes too easy to blur the line between work and not work, so even if you're not at your desk, who's to say you aren't still flustered with work in the back of your mind? Find somewhere you feel comfortable; make that place your haven away from the rat race of daily life. I've heard the shores of Lake Teedyuskung are quite therapeutic!
To recap and review, studies have found that vacationing:
- lowers overall blood pressure and stress levels
- increases energy/makes you more physically active
- helps you feel more positive emotions and feelings
- keeps you thinner
- mentally recharges you, especially beneficial in creative fields
- allows you to spend happy times with loved ones
So, if push ever comes to shove and you're really debating whether or not to get away, consider the information above. Make an escape of some sort, even if for a brief amount of time. Because once our time is up, it's up. May your time be long-lasting and happily spent.
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