• Jason Wilkinson

Vacation: The Mental & Emotional Benefits of Taking a Break


Sarah has been dealing with a great deal of stress throughout CoVid-19. She and her spouse have monitored their three kids through online school. Sarah has also had to help her kids grieve the loss of what used to be “normal life.”


And Sarah had to do all this while figuring out how to transition to work from home from her office in Lake Oswego, Oregon.


Sarah has been neglecting it, but she could really use a vacation.


Participating in a vacation or staycation can have tremendous benefits, but we all tend to ignore them. Why do we do that?


If you are looking for convincing, here are some reasons it is important to take vacation.


Reason #1 to Take a Vacation — For a Physical Break:


You have been grinding this year at work or at home, and it has been just so stressful. This amount of stress takes a toll on a person’s body. Exhaustion sets in. And the body begins to break down.


Physical rest is so important. Vacation can provide you the opportunity to get that. Whether that is sleeping in during a staycation, spending time on the beach, or out camping in nature, taking the time to allow the body to rest is so beneficial.


Reason #2 to Take a Vacation — For a Mental Health Break:


Working from home has been a reason for many people experiencing burnout. With the lack of strong boundaries and work/life balance, it is challenging to know when to “power down.”


Taking vacations provides you the opportunity to have leisure. It allows you to decompress and let go of some of those stresses that bounce around in your brain. You can set work aside.


And get away from a screen.


Go read a book. Hang out in nature. Exercise. And take that mental break that you really need.


Reason #3 to Take a Vacation — To Improve Relationships:


All of our relationships have been under strain due to isolation over the last two years. Whether it is because of spending too little time with other people.


Or too much. Couples seeking marriage counseling have shared the pressures of juggling kids, work, and poor communication. And they have felt alone.


Taking a vacation can help you reconnect with those that you love and care for. You can spend time with your spouse. With your kids. With extended family. Or with friends.


Vacations can help you to reconnect with relationships that have been strained or neglected. And it allows you to help improve those relationships and reconnect again.


Reason #4 to Take a Vacation — To Have Fun:


You build memories on vacation. You have fun. Hopefully filled with laughter and rest. And, really, that releases a lot of feel-good hormones that lead to a happier lifestyle.


Having fun makes life more enjoyable. And life should be enjoyed.


Reason #5 to Take a Vacation — To Rejuvenate the Soul:


Taking a break from the regular rhythms of life can be a little jarring. And it can also help you to connect with the world around you.


It can refresh who you are as a person.


Consider taking a sabbatical from technology. Getting out into nature. Try out some new tools to assist with the anxieties for returning to everyday life. Read a good book. Or taking steps to improve your sleep.


For many, vacation can be a time to re-establish the practices to re-discover and become grounded in their identity.


Conclusion:


It’s possible that you’ve been putting off vacation for a long time. If so, it might be time to reconsider the need for rest.


You will be a better employee when you come back.


You will be investing in your relationships.


You will find greater contentment with your life because you won’t be a slave to the day-to-day life.


Take steps today to plan your next vacation or staycation. And reap the benefits that come along with it.

Jason Wilkinson helps people find healthy rhythms between work and rest through individual and marriage counseling at Wellspace Counseling. Wellspace Counseling provides services the communities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego, Portland, and is able to see people throughout Oregon through the use of online counseling.


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