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Why You Need a Vacation

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Why You Need a Vacation

If you are like most parents, you hardly remember what a vacation feels like. It’s been so long since your last true vacation, that it is merely a distant memory, and one that is fading fast. You have many reasons why you haven’t had one recently, and they are all legitimate. The truth of the matter is that you actually need to take a vacation. You can’t afford not to. In the United States, we take less vacation days than practically anywhere else in the world. As a result, we are more stressed, and actually less productive at our jobs. We are less useful in our own families, and all of our relationships suffer as a result. Your logic for why not to take a vacation seem to make sense in your mind, but I’m here to debunk all of your excuses and convince you of why you really need to take better care of yourself and your family by taking a vacation.

  1. Can’t take time off of work. I say that’s ridiculous. Yes, you can, and you need to. There is a reason why employers give you a certain amount of time off each year. It’s because they understand that a healthy, balanced and well-rested employee is actually more productive than one who is burnt out and not taking care of himself. The same is true if you work for yourself. While it can be challenging to leave your own business behind, you and your business will be better off in the long run after you have had some time off to refresh and re-invigorate yourself.
  2. Can’t afford it. In reality, you can’t afford not to. It is literally so unhealthy that it can kill you. Then, how will your family pay the bills? Nobody is saying you have to go to Paris or stay at The Four Season’s Resort. There are all sorts of options for different types of vacations in all price ranges. You can go camping, You can even house swap with someone else for a week just to get away. Be creative. Create a vacation savings account, and put a certain amount and/or all of your spare change in it and watch it grow.
  3. What about the kids? Yes, it can be a bit complicated to figure out if you’re taking your kids, how much school they can miss or when their break is, or who is staying with them if you go without them. But complicated does not mean impossible. You do complicated things every single day. You solve bigger dilemmas than this one regularly. Why would this be any different? There are many options here. You can farm your kids out to friends and family. You can have a family member come and stay in your home while you’re gone. This is not brain surgery. Families just like yours figure this out all the time, and so can you.
  4. It’s not a good time. It’s never a good time. But there is no other time than right now. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Enjoy your life and good health now, while you know you have it. Tragedies happen, health changes and it’s never part of the plan. Don’t be the person filled with regret that you never did the things you wanted to. Nobody ever complains that they did too many fun things in their life. Now is the time.
  5. I’m too busy. Yes, you are. Too busy. Get less busy. You accomplish this by taking a vacation, not by staying and continuing with the same busy life every day. If you wait until you are not busy to take your vacation, you will never go. And you will stay busy. Busy can wait. It can be put on hold. Don’t worry. It will be there waiting for you when you get back. But you will be better equipped to tackle it after you’ve had a relaxing vacation and time to recharge your batteries.

When it’s all said and done, you will be a better person, partner, and parent if you learn to take better care of yourself. You don’t do anyone any good if you’re feeling not in a good place. We charge our phones and our computers so they will continue to work properly. People need to be recharged, too, in order to bring our best selves to everything we do. Enjoy.

Lori Freson Lori Freson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been working in the mental health field since 1997, and has been a licensed therapist since 2002. Lori currently works in her own thriving private practice in Encino and Sherman Oaks, where she serves the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas.
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