Give Yourself a Break

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by Sue Aubuchon, Benefits Manager, Beaumont Health System

Why you should take a vacationWhen was the last time you took a vacation?  If it takes more than 5 seconds to answer this question, it’s been too long! According to a 2010 survey, Expedia found that the average American earned 18 vacation days – but only used 14 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.

Here are a few benefits of taking vacation time:

Time off allows you to spend quality time with family and friends.

  • Vacations allow the body to replenish and repair itself.
  • Time off inspires creativity. We come up with our best ideas when we’re relaxed.
  • You get the time to just have fun and enjoy yourself.
  • Taking time off actually improves your work performance.

With such busy schedules, it can be difficult to schedule time or plan for a vacation. Here is how to make your vacation a reality:

  • Plan Ahead – At the beginning of the year, request a bit of time off throughout the year. You can always cancel if need be, but at least you have the approvals ahead of time and a goal to take that time.
  • Budget – Start saving small amounts early on so you are prepared.
  • Involve the Family – Get their opinion on where to go, what they want to do or see.
  • Money or Time an Issue? – Vacations don’t need to be a drain on your budget to reap the rewards. Consider a trip to the zoo or a local museum. Take a day trip to a new town. Have a picnic with family or friends. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never took the time to do it.

Also, many companies offer discounted passes for parks or other local attractions. Check with your HR department to see what your company offers.

You work hard to earn your time off, so even if you take a stay-cation, go enjoy and relax! You deserve it!

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