Balance is healthy. All work with no breaks leads to stress, and dis-eases of the mind, body and spirit. The word holiday derives from the words holy and day. In the Middle Ages days set aside for worship and time away from daily rigors and routines.  Throughout history Holy days, such as Christmas and Hanuka, have been observed globally.  Holy days modernized into “holidays” during the Industrial Revolution.  Now cultures world wide allot different time allowances for annual holidays.  The USA is at the low end of industrial nations’ “time-off” scales.  Fact is many Americans never EVER take holidays – even during the holiday season.  Not good! Long term medical studies show non-stop workers have higher levels of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and sleep disorders.  This last problem contributes to poorer productivity.  Sleep deprived people have shorter attention spans, less retention capacity, and are prone to depression.  In addition, they don’t metabolize well through the night and that leads to weight gain.  Clearly working day in and day out with no holidays makes no sense. Holidays are healthy.  All vacations qualify; R&R at a spa, action packed eco-adventures, or culturally informative holidays.

Travel, whether it’s a short getaway or long adventure, stimulates and restores.  On the one hand it gives you permission to mellow out and relax.  But any time you’re in a new habitat you’re out of your comfort zone, and that forces you to be alert.  Result, increased brain activity, which keeps the brain young.  What better way to stimulate the brain than explore a new place, try something adventurous , meet new people.  All this keeps you young and vibrant, and makes you a better contributor in the community and workplace.  Medical studies over the last 50 years verify that people who take a week or more off of work annually are less likely to suffer from depression.  They have healthy hearts. They’re sleep patterns improve.  Carefully monitored research shows those who take holidays have quicker reaction times and better retention skills than their work ‘til you drop colleagues.  On my Health Habitravels retreats and adventures I’ve seen these benefits enjoyed by my fellow travelers.  So don’t deny yourself that week or two off annually, whether it’s now during the Holiday season, or later this year. If you can’t break away for long, because of work or lack of funds, take short breaks throughout the year.   Once you’re home you’ll see positive results in your personal and professionally life because you gave yourself time to breathe, explore and recharge your batteries.

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