All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Artist: The Go-Go’s
That song has been running through my head all month. Each year I try to treat myself to two solid weeks of vacation at the end of June and then again at the end of December. This is my secret to sanity. I know that every 6 months I’ll have some time off to refresh, renew and recommit. I tend to keep a lot of irons in the fire, so this time is just what I need to keep going.
It seems I’m lucky. Much of what I’ve read says Americans are not taking off all the time they’re entitled to. As many at 50 percent had an average of 11 days left at year end. Due to downsizing, some feel it’s just not worth it playing catch up when they get back, others are afraid to take time off. Some feel they are indispensable. John Wright, senior vice president of global market and opinion research firm Ipsos said, “Workers should remember that there are graveyards full of indispensable people.”
In the article The Benefits of Taking Time Off, falsePatricia Quigley states, “The online travel agency Expedia conducted a survey about vacation time in 2010, and according to their data the average American earned 18 vacation days—but only used 14 of them. Americans’ responses may not be surprising in a culture where long hours on the job often are valued, but that’s not always good for the individual, the family or the employer.”
Probably the best evidence of the effects of vacations can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, which scientists have been examining for years to understand what contributes to our well-being. More than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. Among the questions they were asked annually was about vacations. “The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived,” says Karen Matthews of Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh, who analyzed the data to assess the benefits of vacations.
Taking time away from work and routine allows the body to replenish and repair itself and eases stress. What more incentive do you need to take your vacation time…every single minute of it?
So, someone tell me…which way to the beach???
Donna Simpson, Consultant Manager
University of Scranton SBDC