Warning: Not Using Your Vacation Time is Deadly

snowwhiteNot too long ago there was a beautiful girl named Snow White who believed in fairy tales.

She spent each work day cleaning, cooking and sewing while singing her favorite refrain, “Someday.”

Someday, my Prince will come…

Someday, I’ll find a better job…

Someday, my dream vacation will be a reality…

Instead of taking “someday” into her own hands and making her dream travel come true, Snow stayed at home wishing her life away.

It is no surprise, that Snow’s seven, traveling friends return home to find her dead.  Fortunately, a well-traveled Prince was able to revive Snow with the kiss of a Nomad.

Use Your Vacation Time or Die

According to Expedia’s study, workers in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and the United States are vacation deprived because workers in these countries don’t use all of the few vacation days they receive.  To see where your country comes in, click here.

Several studies on heart disease, including the Framingham Heart Study shows that yearly travel significantly lowers your risk for heart disease.  In fact, men who took at least one vacation a year, decreased their chances of heart attack by 30%.

Women who didn’t travel more than once every six years had a 50% greater chance of dying from heart attack than women who traveled twice or more a year.

Make sure your vacations are heart healthy by following these guidelines:

USE ALL OF YOUR VACATION TIME

The Expedia study shows that most people aren’t using all of their vacation time.

You don’t have to go out of town to use your vacation time; spending a few days as a resident tourist provides a much needed recharge.

The benefits of taking a vacation or staycation are numerous and include increased activity, a change from monotony, and prevention of burnout.

STAY DISCONNECTED

While you may not have a boss who gives you $7500 for vacation time if you promise to do nothing work related, you should embrace the practice of disconnecting while on vacation.

Your mind needs a mental break from deadlines, timelines and phone lines.  You’ll see an increases in productivity and work satisfaction as a result of your time away.

Organizational culture determines how much most workers will disconnect.  Start with these tips to help you feel more comfortable disconnecting:

  • know that most emails/calls are not an emergency and will not need an immediate response,
  • set up an auto reply or voice message to provide alternative contact information for an emergency,
  • turn off your electronics to eliminate the temptation of constantly checking them,
  • observe why you check email or social media.  Is it a need to know what’s going on, boredom or avoidance of doing something else?

DON’T RUSH BACK TO WORK

Plan a few days after your vacation to relax and restart your normal routine.

This extra time gives you wiggle room to unpack, do household chores and catch up on your missed television shows.

It also reduces the chances that you’ll experience a shock from jumping right back into work – and your inbox.

I have to admit that I’m not absolutely sure if Snow White died from travel deprivation, poison, or beauty overdose – witness accounts vary.

It is known that being cooped up all day and smelling cleaning supplies caused her to do weird things like talking to animals, refusing to change clothes and taking food from scary, old ladies.  Travel blocks this quirky behavior.

Don’t be like Snow White.  Use all of your vacation time and live happily ever after.