Vacations – Time off for Balance, Health and Productivity

If you own your own business, you may often put off taking any real time off to just relax
and unwind and rejuvenate. You imagine ‘someday’ being able to take a vacation, but the
thought of doing it now only creates more stress. How can you go away when there is so much
to do? If you take time off, you may lose a great opportunity! It makes no sense, does it:
You started your own business for more freedom, yet here you are, feeling like you can’t
afford to get away. However, if you take time off, you just may CREATE new opportunities
because you will come back relaxed and renewed, and, according to research, even

How can you take time off and feel good about it? This article will give you some tips on
how to really live your dream of business ownership and freedom all at the same time.

The health connection
I don’t need to tell you that you feel great when you’re on vacation! Granted, the stress
level BEFORE that vacation may be high, but often there is some time that you can really say
you feel that ‘ahh’ feeling, at least once. You know; you’re lying in the pool in your
vacation home rental, listening to wind in the trees and the waves hitting the shore just
below you. And when you get that feeling, you wish it would last even longer. My favorite
explanation of the benefit of a vacation is from Dr. Mel Borins, author of the book Go
Away Just for the Health of It; He says that every trip is a break from the
‘treadmill of daily life’.

But is it just all in your head? There actually have been multiple studies that have
investigated the affects of taking vacation on our health. In the year 2000, researchers
published their findings in the medical journal Psychosomatic Medicine, after following over
12,000 men in the MRFIT (Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial) study for nine years. They
found that the men who took vacations in most years were 20% less likely to die of any cause
than those who did not take vacations. They also found that the vacationers were 30% less
likely to die of heart disease.

For women, the impact of vacations is even more dramatic. Research conducted by the
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation followed 1500 women to find out the results of
vacations in their lives. Results were published in a 2005 issue of the Wisconsin Medical
Journal (WMJ). They found that women who took vacations only once in every 2 years suffered
more depression and tension than women who vacationed twice or more per year. Their
conclusion was that personal psychological benefits gained from these regular vacations lead
to a more rewarding quality of life and improved work performance.