Take a Break This Summer!
All work and no play makes for a dull, repetitive and exhausting life.
The demands of our lives today can be overwhelming and challenging even for the best of us work-life balancers. The newer idea seems to be about work-life integration.
My colleague Dan Schawbel talks about this in Work Life Intergration: The New Norm. He says: the new phrase and idea is work life integration, where professionals blend personal and professional. Many boomers aren’t prepared for this shift: it’s happened too fast for them. But Millennials are taking the lead, talking to their friends via Facebook at work and answering business emails from home at night.
Integrating work and life is fine, but I also think it’s important to unplug and go on a real vacation, regardless if it’s to Europe, the Rockies or a staycation in or near your home town.
Boomers are working longer, Gen X is busy having and raising families and establishing their careers, and Gen Y is still in or just graduating from college and starting their professional lives.
No matter what stage, we need to get away and take a break from our habits and lifestyles and simply have fun, enjoy new vistas, experiences, rest and nourish ourselves.
I recently spent a week out in Colorado, where I have been going for 20 years skiing and enjoying the summers. I was with high school friends who now live there and we had an amazing time hiking, exploring and hanging out. The vistas, beauty and culture of the Colorado Rockies are a great fit for me, as I am a native south Floridian, so the mountains really move me.
We can work hard, have a great work ethic, burn the midnight oil and be stellar employees but we need vacations. We need to give our brain a break, a timeout from deadlines and a hiatus from work technology!
Take a break from our professional stressors
Work stress can put physical, psychological, or social demands on the body, emotions, mind, or spirit of an individual that can drain our energies. They can only be recharged by getting away from them.
Have something to looking forward to
One of the biggest boosts in our happiness comes from planning a vacation. It’s fun to research where you are going for places to see and history of the area and getting feedback from others who have been to where you are going. Simply having something to look forward to like a vacation can be exciting.
The health and wellness benefits
People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals according to Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization that provides community-based behavioral healthcare.
Play is not just for kids
Taking time to play has powerful benefits for everyone. Play is just as important as sleep! Play involves anticipation, surprise and pleasure. Vacations give us time to play and enjoy freedom from time, rules and responsibilities.
Higher productivity upon return
Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, says workers who forgo their vacations aren’t doing themselves or their companies any favors. Overworked employees get sick more often and place themselves at risk for long-term illnesses. Companies suffer because their employees are too tired or ill to be productive.
Sharing Our Experiences with Others
One of the many benefits of social media is that we have various social communities and places we can share our life and work experiences with friends, family and colleagues. People live vicariously through others, as we are a visual and real time world now.
Traveling certainly is not easy and has many challenges especially for families. Planning out special needs when traveling is much easier today as airlines, hotels and destinations accommodate for a variety of traveler needs.
Although there is always a re-entry back into our reality, routine and time zone, I can look at my smart phone pictures, create a Flipagram Picture Video, or head over to Facebook or LinkedIn to share and relive my experiences.
One of the highlights was meeting and bonding with Scarlett, the coolest Golden Doodle in the world.
Go have fun, play and plan to go on a proper vacation.
That is one of the reasons we work, isn’t it?
It is for me.
Deborah Shane is a Florida-based career and small business coach. www.deborahshanetoolbox.com.
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