Are you that person? I need a freaking vacation. Many of us need the time to ourselves, are overwhelmed at work, just plain stressed out, but the reality is, a lot of us just can’t get away. Maybe we feel uncomfortable leaving family and friends behind. Or maybe we have too many responsibilities at home or a career we can’t take time away from. And maybe, we are just plain broke. In the long run, fatigue and stress can affect our performance, mentally and physically. It can impact our relationships, our friendships. It can take a huge toll on every aspect of life.
I was 18 when I first moved out with my boyfriend. I was a manager at a Starbucks in a grocery store and I was broke. My dad didn’t give me much advice when I moved out, but one thing he pushed for was that Travis and I made sure to set time and money aside to give ourselves a break. Go to the movies. Go bowling. Anything, but you can’t go on forever if you never take a break. That always stuck with me and my dad was so right. I worked myself to the bone and I never left my apartment. I was burnt out in the worst kind of way and ultimately ended up quitting my job because I just couldn’t do it anymore. (Which was really dumb, btw.)
Now that I’m older, I really make sure to take breaks from life. Sometimes, it’s not work that’s too much. Sometimes, it’s friends. Sometimes, it’s just general stress. But, I make sure to take some time at least a couple times a year and you should too.
Boost your heart health. The Framingham Heart Study showed that women who take at least two vacations a year are eight times less likely to have coronary heart disease. A study done with men who had an elevated risk for coronary disease, showed that those who didn’t take an annual vacation were 32% more likely to die from a heart attack than the vacationers.
Stress less. Stress causes wrinkles, more colds, and weight gain. A weekend getaway or switching your day up can reduce stress hormones and even lower your blood pressure.
Increase your performance and boost your focus at work. Stress can affect our decision making and focus at work causing performance problems.
Increase your well-being. Women who take vacations more frequently experienced lower levels of tension and depression versus women who vacationed less often. Apparently, even just anticipating a vacation is a mood booster.
A vacation doesn’t necessarily mean flying somewhere or a lengthy getaway. To me, a vacation is just a change of surroundings. Maybe take a trip to park, read under a tree. Go hiking in a local state park. Visit a library or a museum. Take a Sunday drive or a short trip. There’s no reason, money or otherwise, that you can’t find a way to get away.
I can’t say that I travel often, but I’ve definitely done my fair share of vacationing and I can tell you, I am the deal queen. I like getting away so I find ways to make it affordable for myself. I’ve used Groupon and LivingSocial time and time again. I’ve seen so many great deals on there for hotels and activities like wine tasting, hot air balloon rides, laser tag, and even yoga retreats. Do you have a destination in mind and want to save money on your stay? Hit up Priceline. That site is my jam! Type in the city you want then click on express deals. Choose how many stars you want and the area and BAM! You’re in deal city. I’ve traveled to Las Vegas and San Diego for very cheap thanks to these sites. Definitely take advantage of them.
I met Monica ages ago when we both canvassed for Kirby. It was fun, but neither of us stuck around and ultimately parted ways. Years later, we reconnected on Facebook (because who doesn’t, right?) and she asked me to shoot her wedding. Of course, I accepted. She told me she was getting married in San Diego and it was at this super cute venue right on the coast. I got to her hotel room and all her bridesmaids were sipping their starbucks and giggling away. Ok, love these girls.
Checked on her fiance in the other room and the dudes were cracking me up. They each were wearing little yellow socks with roosters on them …cock socks, if you will. Monica and Steve’s wedding with riddled with so many cute and tiny details, it was hard to not obsess over them. Beer coozies that read, “To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold.” Beer coozies that were made specifically to hold the beer that they had brewed themselves. Hello?! That’s so cool!
They had tiny desserts and treats; all the decorations, the accessories, the sweets, even the lemonade, were all so cohesive. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a wedding doesn’t look like it was thought out as a whole, but instead, it’s just a mish-mash of whatever they liked. So really, I could go on and on about how much I loved Monica and Steve’s wedding.
Of course, every wedding has something go wrong and this one was no exception. Monica and Steve handled everything with such grace, it was great to spend the day with them. I mean, someone cut they’re wedding cake before they did. Who does that? And wouldn’t every bride have a meltdown over that? I’ve seen this stuff time and time again. keep calm. keep calm. keep calm. EXPLOSION. But nope, not Monica and Steve. They laughed, smoothed over some frosting, and went back to enjoying their wedding.
This is how weddings are supposed to be. They should just happen. At the end of the day, it’s just a giant party for two people celebrating their love. Not much can be done about things that go wrong the day of, so just go with flow and enjoy. At least it’ll make a great story for your the someday.