Depression / Personal Development / Relationships

Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity

One of the main reasons to take a vacation is to get some rest and recharge.  On vacation people tend to pack in more hours of sleep and exercise, as well as spend more time with family and friends–all of which are good for reducing high blood pressure.  According to a study conducted by  the Psychosomatic Society in Savannah,  men who take vacations every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent.

Other vacation research involving women subjects revealed the odds of being depressed increases as the frequency of vacation decreases? In addition, those who do not take vacations and who perceive their home life as disrupting their work schedule are  headed for workaholism and a vacation can help them break their addiction.   Not surprisingly, they report that they feel more  exhausted, sleep deprived, less productive, and less sucessful than co-workers and collegaues who do take vacations.

Lastly, did you know that vactions can also improve your sex life whether you take a vacation with your partner or take a vacation alone?

Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of “The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World,” explains on the CNN website that workers who forgo their vacations aren’t doing themselves or their companies any favors. Even if they are physically present, they have often mentally checked out. “If people are overworked, they’re surfing the Internet. They’re not contributing to the bottom line,” Hohlbaum says. — What Are the Benefits of Taking a Vacation?

When it comes to living a balanced life, vacation are a necessity. Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong,  and help you cope with the stress of  hard times.

When it comes to living a balanced life, I have found that relaxing vacations is a necessity for me. Whether I spend my down time alone or in company I benefit from my time away from the stress and train of everyday living, and return feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Sometimes my relaxing vacations amount to traveling far from home. On other occasions they are brief periods of respite spent at home relaxaing. My bottom line is that I to take need vacations every year. What’s your bottom line?

Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. Spending time alone allows you to come reach inside and become closely in touch with what’s going on in there and make adjustments where required.

I think the benefits of taking relaxing vacations are:

  1. reducing stress
  2. improving overall health
  3. bonding and relationship building
  4. lifting the spirit
  5. stimulating happiness and laughter
  6. stimulating sense of adventure and creativity
  7. creating lasting memories
  8. improving work performance upon return

Read the full article > The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health

No that I have listed my top 8 benefits from taking a vacation,  I’m inviting my readers to expand that list while I am enjoying mine.

23 thoughts on “Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity

  1. To your 8 vacation benefits, I would add a 9th benefit. You can use a vacation to learn something that has a profound impact on your future or your family’s future. This summer, my wife and I decided to have a “Character Camp” vacation to teach our 12 and 14 year old boys the fundamentals of developing impeccable character. We read a chapter a day from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers”. Then the kids would need to each complete the exercises from the accompanying workbook and we’d discuss what they wrote privately with each child. The rest of the day was normal swimming pools, baseball, and having friends over.

    Character Camp had a profound effect on our family. It gave us a common set of principles and terms to refer back to as the months have continued to go by, to remind the kids about listening, responsibility, effective planning, keeping your promises to yourself and others, and other elements of character. I wrote about it almost daily in my blog.

    I’m not sure you’d want every vacation to have a learning theme, but it certainly is one of the key benefits that a relaxing vacation CAN have–whether you are learning yoga, meditation, or about character or manners.

  2. I’ve got three active kids at home, and I’ve gotta say that taking family vacations has been a great way to unplug from all of the craziness that pulls us in different directions and reconnect as a family unit. I treasure them, even though many times during them I want to pull my hair out. (Like I said, I have three active kids.)

  3. I love my job, but after working nonstop, taking two days off here and there at the most, for the past three years, taking two weeks off this month was so nice and so refreshing. I really did need it for my sanity.

  4. I’m working a full time job that I love but that often requires me to work overtime here and there. I also want to be a published author (and maybe eventually switch to writing full time) so that takes up a big chunk of my free time.

    So yes, I feel like vacations are necessary each year. I need to recharge my battery. Some years, I feel like going out and visiting some place. Other years, I don’t. I have three weeks this year (currently in the middle of them actually) and I am spending them home in order to relax, reconnect with myself and rearrange my various plans. I will see a few friends here and there but mostly, I spending some time with myself. It’ll help me avoid frustrations or getting too tired until the next vacation.

  5. I think it depends on how you live your life really. If you are a person who is always rushing from one appointment to another and always in a constant rush I would think it would be essential to get away as often as possible.

    For me It’s no so essential I try to live my life at a sedate pace I don’t overstretch myself work wise and I allow myself time to live at a slower pace.

    But when I do go away on holiday I like to be doing stuff and sightseeing rather than lazing on a beach.

  6. I get very few vacation days a year, most of which I need to save for autumn holidays to spend with family.

    So I either do the occasional long weekend trip or try to make sure I set aside at least one day of the weekend to do nothing of significance.

    Also, I got a cat recently, and it’s amusing how the pace of life in an evening is suddenly a lot slower and more relaxed when you have to navigate it around a leisurely feline.

  7. While I was working I looked forward to the vacations when I could take them, they did re-energize the batteries, which improved performance, for a bit at least.

    As far as the whole bonding and relationship building, no, never. Like being with those I went with, or alone to explore the area I am in, most likely Nevada.

    Now, because I am so trying to get my photography biz off of the ground, the trips I take are less vacation and more work. But they are so different in that I love what I am doing. So they snap back into the vacation type, I just need to stay focused sometimes and remind myself why I am holding a camera in the middle of the desert, lol.

  8. I was just on a solo vacation last week, no kids and no ex-hubby. Just went to Florida to visit my cousin and a very dear BC friend. It was the best time I’ve had in a very long time. I got to relax and enjoy myself so much. No schedules, restrictions, worries about other people… it was fantastic. I got to recharge the old batteries, let go of a lot of worries, feel myself become calmer and happier. I enjoyed the time with my cousin so much and I had a blast with my BC friend. It was fabulous. I got to do so many things I’ve never done – canoe, hike on a beach, see dolphins, photograph the sunset on a beach, even go to the movies for regular grown-up movies versus kiddie movies! LOL It was just a blast. I came back stronger, calmer, relaxed and happier. I hope you enjoy yourself. Thank you so much for reminding me of how much fun I had. :-D Big hugs, TiTi.

  9. I agree with all of the reasons you mention that vacations are good for you, and now that I’ve been approved for social security disability I hope that Ron and I will be able to travel a little. I dunno know if I will ever again be able to visit Maui or my favorite $$$$ resort on the Oregon coast, but there is So much spectacular scenery within a 2–3 hour drive of my home in Tacoma that a tank of gas and lunch money can buy you an incredible day trip.

    When I made good money I took rather a lot of vacations. And honestly, few things are as relaxing imho as being on the beach at Hana, Maui when the trade winds come in at night and it feels like God and the angels are blowing an enormous cool breeze just for your pleasure. Likewise a winter weekend at the incredible Inn at Spanish Head on the Oregon coast, watching storms come in over the ocean and being pampered by room service from the resort’s gourmet restaurant was incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating.

    Since I’ve gone on disability and become poor, I don’t have the resources to travel much at all anymore, let alone to the luxurious and pricey vacation spots I used to just love. But without the stress of holding down a job, I find I don’t miss traveling all that much. I do think that everyone should travel if they have the opportunity. Seeing different parts of the country and different parts of the world broadens your perspective in more ways than you can count.

  10. Hey TT–as you know from my last blog, Les and I were on vacation last week. It was WONDERFUL! It’s been a busy, stressful summer, working on the major revision of my book, so I really needed it.

    Being up in Maine, I felt my battery recharge–I could literally feel myself becoming stronger, more balanced, and relaxed each day. Now, I am ready to tackle the agents and publishing world! Woo hoo! Nice to you again, my friend!

    Take care,


  11. Dearest TiTi,

    I am so glad to hear this. Take time for YOU!!! YES! This is SO fabulous, and the timing perfect for me. I can’t yet take an away vacation, but we will in December for week together, no computer, phones, etc. However, something I’ve been thinking is that because I can only financially afford to get away once away right now, it hit me that I could STILL take mini home vacations where I tell everyone I will be away and I then COMPLETELY shut off the computer, phone etc and go hiking locally each day, or garden, or cook, or do my bead word, or compose music or write poetry with pencil and paper, OR DO NOTHING. I do not know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I don’t have to have money to take a vacation!! Yippee!!

    Then I also thought another reason we HAVE to have vacations is that it allows all the mental chatter to STOP! And we can reassess where we are going in our lives and what we want and need, and are we being true to ourselves. This is CRUCIAL. If we just go, go, go without a break, we are often operating on autopilot, and one day we wake up and wonder what happened to our precious lives.

    I needed this today. Thank you my dear friend.
    Much love,

  12. Hope you enjoyed your vacation TT. After all, the rain begins a few months.

    Earlier in life, I actually was so in love with my job /career that I actually hesitated for a few months to take the advantage of a work benefit: a compressed work week for 4 days every 2nd wk. by working longer days. Can you believe that? I came to my senses…and revelled in it at that time. Then benefit was revoked from all employees because some people were sneaking out the door, not completing their longer work shifts.

    I went on vacation last June but a small part was work-related..which shows up in my work-related blog and rest in my personal. The U.S. then Canadian customs folks just couldn’t believe I didn’t buy anything to bring back to Canada from Europe. I couldn’t afford my vacation was distillated on experiences without buying (except for food, transportation passes, etc.) but learning, looking, photo shooting and writing for the 2 blogs.

  13. You’re absolutely right TT – we need Holiday in our lifes too.
    I need more sometimes, is true ..My vacation this summer I think it was one of the best ones also becouse I think I much needed to deep down in my life’s problems..this time.. Who doesn’t..?

    My heavy loss of my mother ..made me to get my thoughts in order ..just because she is not with me anymore to give me her honest advice ..and after I finished this vacation on the sea ..I find the right answer that my mother would have gave to me: “Now, if you don’t mind , I’d really like to wake up and get back to your life.” And she have right also this time, too and ..
    Yes! This summer vacation has jeopardize my health ..and
    Yes! ..vacation is as much a necessity as it is a luxury.

    Thank you for this interesting and wonderful post, TT! We all need in our lives the sun ..

    Wishing you a sunny life with your loved ones!


  14. Hi TT,
    I havent had a vacation since our last hurricane.(ha ha) But I try to fill my life with mini vacations. It may only be a trip to the local museum for the day, or picnic at the park…Ok not as good as a few weeks off, but they sure do help break up the monotony of the usual.

    I hope you have a wonderful, restful break from the routine. “See” you whenever you get back. =)

  15. timethief – Please enjoy your time with your visitors! Take all the time you need even if you aren’t able to reply to all comments. We will survive!

    I didn’t start taking vacations to later in life. What a huge mistake! They are so beneficial. I found that it takes a good 3-4 days to start winding down and am well done after about 2 weeks. So my advice is to make sure your vacations aren’t too short!

    I’m so glad you are raising this issue as I see more and more bloggers burning out.

  16. I love that word ‘vacation’ – it sounds so sassy as if we are about to ‘vacate our lives’ for a while! Here in the UK we go on holiday.

    You know, it was the major northern industrialists in the nineteenth century that came up with the idea of giving their mill workers a paid weeks holiday. These became known as the Wakes weeks and are still called that today. People would leave their grimey industrial towns and head off on special trains to seaside resorts like Blackpool and Scarbrough. The industrialists realised this would increase productivity, loyalty and it was one of the fist steps to employee welfare.

    I go away on holiday quite a lot – my husband is retired and I work freelance so there is a lot of flexibility. One of the things we have recently learned is that an exotic location and huge expense doesn’t make for the best holiday experience. On my 50th birthday we flew out to Florida and picked up a cruise ship and sailed the carribean. Did it top notch all the way – and we didn’t like it very much at all. Everything felt so pretentious and organised. We never truly relaxed.

    On the other hand, we have a lovely RV – what we call a touring caravan – and get away to somewhere in the UK 7 or 8 times a year, often just for 3 or 4 day breaks. It suits us perfectly for all the reasons you cite. It is totally relaxing, no pressure. We read, take afternoon naps and do lots of walking and photography. Our caravan feels like a cocoon and we just love it.

    I think for me, the real key to getting the most out of a vacation is to make sure i have the headspace to get the most out of it. Many years ago, with my ex husband and our 3 sons, we did a lot of exotic travelling – but it was often paid for on credit cards or a loan he had taken out. So I would go away, full of worry and never relax.

    I also know a vacation won’t fix a relationship that is beyond fixing! Have tried that one several times too to the most awful consequences.

    So yes, holidays are important, they do re-energise and bring a couple closer together, but for me the crux has to be that my holiday is just that, a holiday – and not me running away from some situation I don’t want to face. And in my life i have done a lot of running!!

    Smiles and blessings.

  17. Dear Timethief,
    So true. Vacations are a great way to relax and bond with the family. Some of my best memories are about vacations with husband and kids. It was great fun and we still smile when we remember those lovely times. Creating lasting memories…these mind pictures live with us lifting our spirits and bringing a smile.

  18. Would it make sense to you if I said, I need a vacation from my vacation? lol

    I work 8 months of the year, 7days a week non-stop and when we do finally have our four months break, I spend my time running around catching up on things I didn’t have time for, like my blog, catching up with friends I haven’t seen for ages, the garden, house maintenance, etc. Too many to list! I know I need to slow down and maybe spend a few days away from my computer; moreover, away from the house.

    My problem is, I have too many hobbies and obligations. I had one day of trying to sleep longer, and I felt guilty for doing so. I always end up feeling that I could have used the time wisely or I feel I’ve missed something.

    I know only too well, how important vacation is and how important it is for the body and mind to simply do nothing from time to time to recuperate. You know, I’m going to take this post to heart and sleep longer on Sunday. I have decided already tomorrow will be a big clean up day, take-away for dinner, watch movies on TV till I fall asleep in sofa and sleep till mid-day on Sunday. lol

    I will come back to add on to your list the benefits of taking a relaxing vacations on Sunday night (my Sunday night -lol). To be quite honest, I’m about to fall asleep and can’t think straight. hehe

    Have a nice time with your friends TT and I look forward to your lovely tales of your lovely times. Hugs!! :)

  19. This sounds about right, I haven’t taken a proper vacation in 10 years the closest I’ve come to a proper vacation was a 2 day romantic break with ___ but that was only a couple of hours drive away so I don’t know if that counts. I live a pretty stressed out low mood life day to day and a vacation could do the trick to change that but unfortunately I can’t get insured to travel overseas due to my health problems. Well researched as always TT and a great read as well, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts my friend.

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