Why Vacation is Good for You and How to Make it Count

By Guest Blogger: Henry Moore of Fit Well Traveler  (We love his posts  5 Tips for Iowa Travelers with Disabilities and 6 Tips for parents with first-time flyers

Think about the last time you didn’t get much sleep. How did you feel the next day? Tired? Irritable? More than likely you probably weren’t able to perform to the best of your ability or make your day as successful as you would like, right? The reason for this is because your body and mind need time to rest and recharge from life’s daily stressors and demands. Without sleep, you can’t function as well and you won’t feel your best.

This is similar to when you don’t take time off for vacation. Simply put: You don’t have a chance to bounce back from the daily grind. Like a good night’s rest, traveling offers several mental health benefits. Stress reduction, emotional well-being, and enhanced productivity and work performance are among the top advantages. Not convinced that taking time off is actually important? Here’s a deeper look into why this is something you want to do periodically or annually.

Your Health Improves Mentally & Physically
Going on vacation is an instant mood booster. According to a 2014 study, people feel happier when they regularly travel. It’s an opportunity to break free from your daily routine, providing the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep, try new activities and spend time with loved ones. As a result, you lower your stress; get more exercise; and positively impact your relationships.

Your Perspective Changes
Whenever you visit a new place, you can usually see differences between life there and life at home. Depending on where you visit, these distinctions can be eye-opening, giving you a chance to see what privilege looks like and a reason to be thankful for what you have. The path to finding this gratitude and expressing it, can help you feel more content.

Your perspective also changes when you take time to open your mind to new cultures and other ways of life. You learn to accept others, embrace diversity and offer more compassion to those who are different from you.

Your Mind Resets
There’s a famous quote by John Maxwell that says, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” Traveling is certainly not something you can do all of the time, but it is something you can do periodically to re-shape your life’s direction.

If you’re in addiction recovery or know someone who is, traveling is especially helpful for staying on the sober track. It provides a peek into new and different environments, which ultimately can lead to a new outlook. Through new discoveries like other cultures and where you fit into the bigger picture of the world, you develop an open mind and learn first-hand how to look within yourself to heal. This is a meaningful journey to self-discovery that creates experience, purpose and direction for the future.

Bottom line: Don’t wait any longer to use those vacation days. Take some time off and find your way to a happier you. Here are some tips to help you make your next vacation count:

●     Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

●     Take a tour. When you visit places like Europe, it’s easy to walk as much as 10 miles a day.

●     Exercise or try a fitness activity. Sightseeing is fun, but why not take advantage of the location’s outdoor offerings, too? Take a hike, ride a bike or go on a run. Each travel destination usually has activities unique to its specific location. Find out what those activities are and give something a try. It will make you happy and feel alive. 

●     Make memories with your family or travel companions. Commit to doing something together or trying something new. Being able to share smiles, laughter and stories with your loved ones always feels good.

●     Short on funds? Check out State or Regional Parks, Wildlife Refuges, or local beaches for an affordable daylong getaway in your area. Reserve America is a great resource to find out what amenities (kayaking, hiking, picnicking, camping, etc..) are available at parks across the country.


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