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.