Got time for holidays?

July 13th, 2015 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »


Skipping the summer vacation?


Although our family is taking less vacation than our normal 3-4 week time away from home in July and August, we will still have some holidays together. How about you?


The temptation is to keep on working


Many of us are tempted to skip summer holidays, or, at least check out work emails daily while at the beach or in the hotel. After all, nobody wants 1,000 emails to go back to work to. But psychologist have found it vital for our health and well-being if we can completely shut down for a while, even if it’s a 48-hour break from emails, and a change of pace and scenery. August is coming up and then September. Have you planned your vacation? Taken it already? Decided to skip it this summer? A quote below shows the importance, or lack thereof, of vacations in different countries:


“The online travel agency Expedia conducted a survey about vacation time in 2010, and according to their data the average American earned 18 vacation days—but only used 14 of them. Every European country included in the survey reported both more vacation days earned and used. France topped the list, with the average worker earning 37 vacation days and using all but two of them. And according to Expedia’s data, only 38 percent of Americans said they used all of their vacation time, compared to 63 percent of French respondents.”


Your physical and mental health depend on R&R


Studies have shown that we need to take time away from the daily schedule of work for our health, whatever that place activity and might be. It is the “other” that causes restoration and growth. For example, new places make new mental neuron synapses grow and rest the overused “pathways” of much used tracks of thinking in our brains.


Not only that, but stress levels are reduced and therefore, productivity increases with a break in work. Employers should be sending their team members away more often just for better productivity—and for better creativity. The employees return to work relaxed and healthier, ready for more challenges to be overcome.


Your need to relax or you might find it difficult to do so later on


It has been shown that, depending on your actual stress level at any point in time, it will take more or less time to unwind and really relax. If you go for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to wind down. Eventually, you will be unable to “remember how to relax”, and may be in danger of burnout. Therefore, even long weekends with no emails are recommended to keep you “in practice”.



Your family matters, and spending time with family builds the relationship


Finally, it is important to remember that the reason you are working is less important than your relationship with your loved ones. Take the time off to build your relationships with them, doing things you all feel are enjoyable and relaxing. For my family the place and activity is probably going to be rock hunting in the Ticino; for another family or couple it would be another place and pastime. But it is the time spent together in the end that matters, because those are our key relationships.


Just do it.


So, take that time off; limit the amount of time on work-related activities such as emails; do things with those people you love; and mostly, have fun this summer! There is only one Summer of 2015, after all. Enjoy!


Note: I am taking a few weeks off my blog, as most people are on holiday and I will be, too. See you in August! You can still reach me via email at , but I will only be checking my mail 2-3 times per week. Enjoy your summer!



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