I was horrified when my research uncovered the number of people who don’t take all their vacation (holiday) allowance from work. Figures suggest around half of Americans leave some time unused, with fear of being replaced the main reason. In Japan, it’s even worse, with 17% of the workforce not taking a single day of paid vacation. Yikes. I realise I come from a European mindset and that workers in other countries don’t feel the same sense of job security. Yet I can’t shake my belief that working without quality time off is as bad for us as going without food, water or sleep.
I blogged about this topic last year but didn’t actually give it a serenity score. In my eyes, if you’re lucky enough to have a job which gives you paid time off, taking that time shouldn’t even be in question. And if you’re serious about reducing stress and increasing serenity, you can’t afford to let anything get in the way of a well-deserved break. If money is super-tight, fine, stay home: there are lots of good ideas on staycation tactics.
But please, follow my lead and plan your next break. I’m finishing off arrangements for my trip to England in May, and I’m about to launch into planning for a special trip to Iceland in August, including – hopefully – running a marathon in Reykjavik.
With research suggesting that looking forward to something may be almost as beneficial as the actual experience, the sooner you start dreaming of your next getaway, the better.
Let me know what you’re planning!
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