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Take a Break and Boost Your Health

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Can't do a week away? Then get out of town for a mini break. Even a two-day breather brings a multitude of benefits. "Mini-vacations are great for breaking the cycle of stress, getting a fresh perspective, and for giving our minds and bodies a much-deserved rest," says wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King.


"It can be something as simple as a luxurious spa visit with a couple of girlfriends or heading to a cabin in the woods to enjoy some peace and quiet with your spouse," says Beuermann-King, of worksmartlivesmart.com. The point is to step off of the hamster wheel and rejuvenate your body, recharge your mind and soothe your soul.

 

 

It's no secret that all work and no play can take a serious toll on your well being. The everyday grind can zap your energy and positive outlook, leaving you grumpy, tired and unfocused - nothing that a relaxing body wrap and facial can't fix.

 

Time off is great medicine for much that ails you yet not everyone is taking their earned vacation time. Some of you are actually leaving vacation days unused - Canadians forfeit more than 31 million earned vacation days to employers, according to Expedia.ca. That's like handing back $5.5 billion in wages! "Canadians are leaving three days of vacation on average - that's lots of time left to fit in a few days away or even a day of pampering," says Beuermann-King.

Mini vacations not only are more likely to fit the budget, and aren't as stressful when returning to work. Two days away from the office can be managed, while a two-week trip means returning to a mountain of waiting work that'll extinguish any vacation glow in mere minutes.

No need to go big - just go! Research shows that workers who take vacations are less likely to develop depression, and twice as likely to feel happy about their workplace which increases productivity. Merely planning time off increases personal levels of happiness.

If you need even more of an excuse to get out of town, take heart in this: Time off cuts down on heart disease. One study shows that "infrequent vacationers had a 20% greater risk of dying from any cause and a 50% greater chance of dying from a heart attack when compared with those who vacationed regularly," says Beuermann-King.

 

Vacations are a lifesaver so get out of your routine and let your mind get unstuck. Feeling stuck is disempowering mentally, physically and emotionaly, and can lead to a myriad of unhealthy behaviours, like loading up on fatty foods and too much alcohol, and not getting enough activity.

 

Staying vibrant and healthy requires altering daily patterns regularly, and being present when you are away. That means shutting off from the hyper-connected grind. Don't make selfies and business calls the focus of your mini-trip. Experience that place you visit in real time. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

 

You deserve a break today:

 

• Head to the country for the afternoon and take a hike.

• Stay overnight at a spa and be pampered.

• Head to the city, take in a show, and sleep in with all technology turned off.

• Take a day off here and there and indulge in some pampering.

• Reconnect with family by meeting up at a hotel or resort so no one has to make meals or do the dishes.