What pops into your head when I say “VACATION”? Is it a life-changing memory? Or is it an exasperated “If only”? Are you excited to plan the next trip? Or are you too stressed to even think about it?
FitnFree is about Health – Why am I talking about vacations? Because STRESS is the most pervasive health issue facing our nation and VACATIONS are the #1 Solution! Yes, YOU NEED A VACATION!
Professional surveys report some frightening facts from people surveyed:
- 42% changed jobs because of stress (#1 cause of stress is relationship with boss)
- 61% reported work-place stress caused physical illness, insomnia, depression, family issues
- 25% turned to alcohol to cope (6% admitted to using alcohol on the job)
- 66% employers offer NOTHING to help
- $80-$100 BILLION is the indirect cost to employers (not including claim costs and insurance premiums)
Sadly, high stress and ineffective coping mechanisms are now engrained in our American culture. Stress is leading cause of mental health issues. Employees miss more days and are less productive on the job because of mental illness – more than all chronic conditions (arthritis, asthma, back pain, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease). Most people recognize the value of stress management, but few actually set aside time to DO something about it.
Why not reduce or eliminate stress rather than coping with or managing it – ineffectively? There are easy solutions that you can do every day that take little time or effort: regular exercise like brisk walking, sleeping 8 hours a night and eating healthy food. And yet – people ignore these simple answers.
Taking a vacation is not just a luxury – it is critical to maintaining good health. Time off can reduce risk of heart attack by 32% in men, 50% in women. And people EARN their vacation days by working hard and long hours. Yet, the average US employee takes only ½ earned vacation days/year! Look at this graph:
|% Earned Vacation Used||% Employees|
What even worse: 61% admit to doing work while on vacation! Why? FEAR of:
- Getting behind in their work
- Losing their job to someone else
- Missing out on a promotion or raise
- Losing favor with the Boss
- Resentment form fellow workers
- Missing goals
- Mistrusting others to do the job right
Working while on vacation cancels out the stress-relieving value of taking a vacation. Just like muscles need recovery-time after a serious workout, our bodies and our minds NEED a break to refresh and regenerate strength and flexibility. By the way, a vacation does not mean taking a week off to paint the house! A vacation is time away from the routine, time to clear your mind, energize your body, relax, refresh, try something new stop thinking about work and HAVE FUN!
Everybody wins when you take regular vacations: you, your family, your friends, your boss, your business. Make it a point to take really take good care of your health, get rid of the stress and GO ON VACATION! It’s GOOD FOR YOU!