Summer’s almost over! Well, it’s still warm here in the Southwestern desert, but can you believe it’s September?
What did you do that’s fun this summer? As we are coming out (albeit slowly) of the shutdowns and restrictions of last year, were you able to get away, go somewhere different, have some fun?
I am all about having fun—I try to infuse it into my daily life. I say, work and play hard! I just returned from a trip to the Pacific coast where I like to head to “cool my heels” during the hot Arizona summers. I was not disappointed-the weather was fabulous and I even ventured into the cold Pacific Ocean and did some body surfing. I absolutely am a beach person and consider that my “happy place”.
In addition to enjoying the beach, I got to spend some time with my sister, Elaine, and her husband, Stew. They did a “staycation” for a couple of nights by reserving a camping spot in Carlsbad State Beach with their RV! There was live music every night at the Camp Store, and one night featured a friend of theirs, Alfonso. It was very relaxing and fun to just have a different view and enjoy their company.
So, enough about me—what did you do this summer? Get away with family, friends, both? Did you do a “staycation”? That’s popular here in Arizona as we can take advantage of deep discounts at our lovely resorts.
If you didn’t get away, why not? I know family obligations, such as taking care of elderly parents, keep some people from being able to get away. But one thing should NOT be an excuse – your work, your business.
If that is your reason for NOT getting away, you need to reassess your time and your work-life balance. Statistics show that 72% of Americans did NOT take a summer vacation this year. Of those who did, 71% opted for a road trip, rather than flying.
In addition, 44% of working Americans did not use any of their paid time off this summer, and an additional 22% took less time off than normal. When asked why, 16% expressed concern they could be at risk of furloughs or layoffs, and 13% felt guilty asking for time off since they’re working from home. Fear of risk of Covid was also a factor, especially among Gen Z and Millennials, interestingly enough.
Regardless of what you do, or where you go, you need to schedule in “down time” and just play. Play for adults is critical in our stressful go-go-go lives. Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, and stimulate creativity. And it can even help to keep us young and feeling energetic. Studies show that play improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex.
Not taking time off also negatively impacts health. A 2015 study shows that overwork puts individuals at high risk of incident strokes. Another study shows that sleep deprivation, a common side effect of overwork, is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and more.
Not taking time off hurts employees, employers, and the economy. Even taking short vacations can help combat the negative health effects. Let us help you find time for yourself by planning strategically. You can reach us at https://www.sandbrookgroup.com/contact/.