Athens Review, Athens, Texas


July 12, 2014

Time away is necessary for everyone

Athens — I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.

Do you ever have those days  when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.

Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.

I am lucky, because I get four weeks a year vacation. Actually, taking off those four weeks can be challenging.

My problem has always been, what will I miss if I take a vacation?  Something always come up, or I feel I am letting someone down who has asked me to cover something for the paper.

The Huffington Post recently ran an article on vacations. They said  “Vacations -- even if you never leave home -- are all but essential, the research tells us. Not just for unwinding and de-stressing, but because they often serve as a time to regroup and generate new ideas, making us even more productive when we return. And Americans already take far less vacation time than people in nations around the world.”

Did you know the United States is the only developed country in the world without a single legally-required paid vacation day or holiday?

By law, every European country gives at least four weeks vacation each year. Austria, which guarantees workers the most time off, has a legal minimum of 22 paid vacation days and 13 paid holidays each year.

Unfortunately, people who actually do take vacations tend to bring their work with them. Take that vacation and relax. A good vacation can help you reconnect with yourself. They say workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout.

The bottom line is that taking a vacation or time away from the stresses, hustle and bustle of daily life can give us the break we need. Hopefully, we will  return to our lives refreshed and better-equipped to handle whatever comes our way.

Time off is medicine. Studies show that vacations are as important as watching your cholesterol or exercising.

Not everyone is able to take vacations or go somewhere. But a few days just to yourself with no schedule could do the trick.

If you can't afford a vacation, there are a few things you can do that don't cost much, including taking a full day without answering your phone or connecting to the Internet. Be a tourist in your own town, or if you can't afford a full vacation, spend a day at a  spa. This is my favorite: stay in bed all day. We all need that time to recover from everyday living. Read a good book or watch a movie. Better yet, read the newspaper.

If you really don’t have the money or resources to take a vacation of any type, it’s important for you to do something just for yourself.

As much as I really had things to do this past Fourth of July, I decided to hit the road for a much-needed vacation. My son, Justin, and I headed to the Port Aransas beach. Four days and I never even thought about the newspaper.

The days were not filled with running around town. Some days were just spent sitting on the porch talking to my sister while Justin was deep-sea fishing. Just relaxing.

I got to watch a beautiful fireworks show. And I didn't have to make sure I had good pictures for the paper. I was just a spectator. Everything done at my pace.

One of my favorite poems was written by Nadine Stair when she was 85-years-old. Part of the poem was titled, “If I had my life to do over,”  It reads... “I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot  earlier in the spring, and stay that way later in the fall.”

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.

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