Is it time to take a vacation?

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So, is it that time?  Time to unplug, leave the office, the household chores and relax?

American seem to be work-a-holics, this is not news to anyone.  But did you know that neglecting to take a break can really hurt you in a lot of ways?

Most people know that pushing themselves to go to work when they are sick is not a good idea.  Nobody wants your germs!  And more importantly, our bodies can’t heal and fight off colds and other nasty things without rest.

Similarly, a mind and body that is exhausted and stressed out for a long period of time will eventually collapse.  You’ll feel bad physically, but your thinking will get foggy, too.  Are you really going to be a productive team player at the office when you are main-lining coffee to keep going?

And what about people working at home with kids, pets, elderly parents and general housework?  Guess what, you need a break, too!  Stress and hard work, wherever you do it, is stress and hard work!  Everyone needs to take periodic breaks and rest.

The question is, how much rest do you need to really recharge the physical and mental batteries?  Can you afford to go away on vacation or will you have to settle for something more low key like relaxing in the park or sleeping in?

In order for you to really bring your best to the world, whether at work, at home or in the community, you need to take care of yourself.  I know it can be next to impossible to take off for a week or two, or to afford a vacation, let alone a relief babysitter if you are a caregiver.

My advice?  Indulge in small times of rest on a regular basis, and when you are about to hit the wall, give yourself permission to drop the ball.  The world is still going to keep revolving if you take a sick or mental health day/ week/ whatever.  Those emails and piles of laundry will still be there when you return from a little rest, so just let it go.  If you really do get a chance to relax and rest, you will be that much better prepared to take on the world again, with more energy and a better outlook.

I really like the ad campaigns for Ocean City, MD.  Have you seen them?  A cute, preppy lifeguard is whistling at you, “Vacation days are for sand castles, not cleaning gutters!”  I think they’ve got the right idea!

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