Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Take Your Vacation, You Earned It!

Suddenly inspired...Sitting here poolside under a palm tree relaxing while on vacation, a thought crossed my mind. We all love to vacation, yet many people lose vacation time; they simply let it go unused.  I don't understand how someone does not take the time off, you earned it.

A vacation is beneficial to all involved, the employee, their employer and the economy.  

Breaking away from the daily routine gives the body time to rejuvenate and heal itself. A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh revealed that taking part in leisure activities like vacations contributes to higher positive emotional levels, less depression, lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines.  
A vacation also resets your mind. By stepping away for a few days the batteries get recharged because you remove yourself from a major source of stress thus avoiding burnout.

The traditional vacation may not always be an option.  The costs involved are a major hurdle when planning that long wished for trip.  Some people hate to fly and find having to do so a major stressor. Lost luggage and delays add to the stress.  

A suitable replacement is the  stay-at-home-vacation, staycation; when you stay home and partake of the activities normally associated with a vacation. You get to sleep in your very own bed and explore your backyard by visiting local sites.  You get to roam you town like a tourist. The main goal is to create the feel of a traditional vacation at home.

So imagine, no need to pack, no lost luggage, no long lines and better yet no waiting in line to deal with TSA.  How many horror stories started with the opening line “so I was at the airport…”

Just kick back, relax, and vacation at home; unwinding within your own four walls, or just outside them is actually possible.  

Your staycation can’t be cancelled by an airline or hotel, you lose no days to travelling and you will not suffer the dreaded travel drain associated with long drives or flights.

Problems with the staycation arise if we do not actually disconnect from the daily routine. Go ahead and forget the daily chores, no laundry, no cleaning, and definitely no working from home.  That means no work related phone calls or e-mails.  

Lived in New York for about 15 years and never got around to visit the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Only time I ever visited any landmarks was when I took visiting family sightseeing. My guess it that this is a common occurrence.  I always thought I would eventually visit them, they had always been there.

All the places you want to visit; the things you want to do, but never get to do because you have to mow the lawn, fix the sink, paint the house, or clean out the garage. The nearby zoo, museum, that home team you cheer for whether you are a fan of the Chicago Bulls or the Independent leagues’ Long Island Ducks; it really does not matter just as long as you go somewhere you never get to go.

If you love to go camping you can do so in your own backyard..  Set-up the tent, and bring your sleeping bags.  For the campfire you can dig a fire pit (it is easy) have some marshmallows, hotdogs and cook  your meals outdoors.

For those of us that are not campers, the backyard is still a suitable option. Get a fast-set pool, a cooler and fire up the grill.  When night falls you are set for a night of stargazing or movie watching.

Create a spot that mimics your favorite getaway.  I love the beach; some beach towels, and chairs may remind you of the ocean.  When I stop to look at a baseball field a tiny smile appears as I am momentarily transported to my youth and instantly feel better than I did just a few seconds before.  Nothing else is needed.  Just remember the joy of playing.  

Stay at a nearby hotel...  I always thought this was not too smart of an idea; why have the added expense? Why would you when so close to home?  There is room service, someone makes the bed and cleans the room, the amenities.  You feel like you are thousands of miles away even though you may actually be only be two miles away. Not so dumb once  you see it.  

Many let the days go unused believing that they are the only ones who can do their jobs and dread the pile of work awaiting once they return. Even if we are an integral cog, we are all replaceable.   So take that vacation, you earned it. You will come back to work refreshed and ready to go.