Vacations vital for our health Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

editor's view

Many Americans seem to think vacations are not necessary. People in our country reportedly take fewer vacations than those in other countries.

Workaholic Americans even give back millions of hours of unused vacation time to their employers every year! If you’re one of those workers, you should consider taking all the time you have coming for vacation.

Why? Because vacations are necessary for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Recent studies have shown that people who take regular vacations are in better physical condition, report less depression, and have a stronger spiritual life.

Benefits of vacation

Here are some  benefits of vacations according to Elizabeth Scott on the Web site

• Vacations promote creativity. A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves and get back to feeling our best.

• Vacations stave off burnout. Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive.

• Vacations can keep us healthy. Taking regular time off can keep stress levels lower and keep you healthier.

• Vacations can strengthen bonds. Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong.

Recharging our spiritual batteries

Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged people to recharge their spiritual batteries by taking vacation time. The pope himself takes time off each summer to go into the mountains to commune with God and nature.

This year, Pope Benedict said he prayed for others on vacation to find “refreshment in body and spirit and an opportunity to draw closer to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving.”

Even when we’re busy and can’t take a full vacation, the Holy Father has encouraged us to take some time each day —  and especially every Sunday — for spiritual study, meditation, and prayer.

The bottom line is that vacations are not just a “nice thing” to do. They are vital to our health, including our spiritual health. If you haven’t taken a vacation yet this summer, you’ve still got time to take some days off or plan a vacation for the fall or winter.