As family stewards, we think of wealth differently. Many people focus on money. Our wealth might be our family, spirituality, friends, etc. Money might be further down the list. So how do vacations make you wealthy? When you are healthy, you are wealthy. Anyone who struggles with chronic illness would give anything for their health.
In the article “Importance of Taking a Vacation,” Kathryn Isham shares seven health benefits of taking vacations. In this episode of Best in Wealth, I will share Kathryn’s research and why I think it holds up.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:04] What is the best vacation you have ever taken?
- [4:03] Bonus benefit: Anticipating your vacation
- [7:53] Benefit #1: Improved physical health
- [8:27] Benefit #2: Improved mental health
- [9:11] Benefit #3: Greater well-being
- [9:57] Benefit #4: Increased mental motivation
- [10:42] Benefit #5: Improved family relationships
- [13:26] Benefit #6: Decreased burnout
- [14:56] Benefit #7: Boosted happiness
Benefit #1: Improved physical health
Did you know that stress contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure? The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were eight times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease or experience a heart attack, compared to those who vacation twice a year. What a great excuse to vacation, right?
Benefit #2: Improved mental health
Neuroscientists have found that chronic exposure to stress can alter your brain structure: “Stress can cause an imbalance…[which impacts] cognition, decision making, anxiety and mood.” Vacations help calm you and relieve stress. I do not know about you, but anticipating a vacation improves my mental health.
Benefit #3: Greater well-being
According to a Gallup Poll, “Making time for regular trips or vacations with family and friends is linked to higher overall well-being.” In her article, Kathryn also points out that three days after a vacation people sleep better and are in better moods compared to the time before their vacation.
Benefit #4: Increased mental motivation
Many people are more focused and productive once they return from a vacation. Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and lead to memory problems. Taking time off is a “tune-up” for your brain. It makes sense that you would be more revived and focused, right?
Benefit #5: Improved family relationships
As a family steward, I believe that family time matters. You can certainly create family time in everyday life—do not get me wrong. We make a point to eat family dinners together at least 2–3 times a week to build our relationships.
But there is something special about taking vacations together. When we are on vacation, we share every meal together. We spend time at the pool, hiking, and biking together. Spending time with my family is the best time spent.
Benefit #6: Decreased burnout
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Employees are 43% less likely to experience high levels of burnout when they have a choice in deciding what tasks to do, when to do them, and how much time to spend on each.” I think vacations fall into that statement, don’t you?
No one wants to experience a burned-out employee (or business owner). When we decrease burnout, we are addressing our mental, physical, and spiritual needs. Think about the weight you bear trying to be a good parent, provide for your family, and save for retirement. It is so easy to get burned out. We cannot afford it.
Benefit #7: Boosted happiness
Research shows that planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before their trip! If we can boost our happiness, we boost our health.
The bottom line? If you can afford to take a vacation, take one. If you cannot afford one now, start saving. A vacation can help you feel refreshed and able to handle whatever life throws your way.
- Importance of Taking a Vacation
- Taking Regular Vacations May Help Boost Americans' Well-Being
- Effects of Chronic Stress on Memory Decline in Cognitively Normal and Mildly Impaired Older Adults
- Neurobiological and Systemic Effects of Chronic Stress
- Making Work Less Stressful and More Engaging for Your Employees
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The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.