After another stressful and anxiety ridden year of the pandemic, increase in workload, my father's passing, and December's vacation plans cancelled, I am grateful that I was able to take some time off last week and spend some time at a resort spa in Mexico and in Santa Monica, California.
Just about two years into the pandemic, increased burdens at home and at work, the uncertainty of everything, and having to constantly change course has left many people beyond stressed. To add to these anxious feelings, many have had to cancel or postpone their vacations.
Everyone needs a break. Some time away is integral to ones mental and physical well-being. Even before the pandemic, most Americans did not take their vacation time. And, for many who do take their vacation, they often work. I am guilty of this, but I have been making a conscious effort to disconnect while away. It is definitely a process.
There are so many benefits to taking a vacation or some time off:
Increased mindfulness - a change in your everyday routine will make you more present so you are not on autopilot
Learning mindset - when you are in a more relaxed state of mind, your cognitive flexibility is heightened
Improved sleep - interrupting your disruptive sleep habits helps reset your sleep patterns
Expanded creativity - being exposed to new experiences and being in nature helps boost creativity, as does visiting a foreign culture
More productive - this may sound counterintuitive, but detaching from work makes you more productive and engaged at work
Creating new memories - creating happy memories helps with stress and anxiety
Increased happiness - studies show that even planning a trip and anticipating your next adventure can make you happier. This rings true especially after the past couple of years of the pandemic experience.
Can't get away or worried about traveling in the Covid era? Even a 4-day long weekend can have positive lasting effects for up to 45 days. You don't even have to go out of town. Take a day and explore a different part of your city or spend the day hiking or at the beach.
Go ahead, it is time to start planning your next adventure!