Want To Feel Fulfilled At Work? Take Those Vacation Days!
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As a fitness professional, I aim to inspire people to embrace exercise and healthy eating, and reap all the rewards of a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes my travel schedule is so intense and I have so many projects going on simultaneously that I don’t know if I'm coming or going. 

I know I'm not alone. Many of you have a frenetic schedule too! Life moves fast and technology keeps us plugged in all the time.

Given our crazy schedules, it surprised me to read an article indicating that only 38 percent of U.S. employees use their allotted time off, according to an Expedia.com survey of 9,000 people. Some people leave a whole work week of vacation untouched!  While I applaud the work ethic and dedication — and hope it means people are loving their work — it made me want to remind everyone how important it is to your health and fitness to unplug.

Unplug! If not now, when? 

Sometimes people have storage mindsets. Do any of these statements sound familiar? I'll store up my vacation days, I'll show work how dedicated I am by not taking all of my vacation time, I'll pay my dues now, so I can enjoy my time later. 

The only problem is, later never comes. Don’t put off enjoyment of YOUR life. As the years go by, are you doing the fun things you always said you’d do one day? Ask yourself: If not now, when?


Busy sometimes means disconnected. When you're in the frantic pace of a busy day, you may lose that important mind-body connection. If you skip vacation and are overworked, you can easily get disconnected from your goals — awaiting that time when your life slows down and you get back on track. 

Being disconnected can result in not paying attention to those small, daily choices. You grab food that’s quick and unhealthy, or you may skip exercise entirely, blaming your busy schedule. Taking vacation means valuing yourself, giving yourself a break and reconnecting with what’s most important to you because you slow down and think about it. When you take a vacation, or even a staycation,  you can recharge and figure out what you need to live healthier — mentally and physically.

Listen to your inner voice. 

When you're deep into your busy day, you're probably drowning out that whisper of your inner voice that’s your compass. It’s the whisper you hear that says, “I really should exercise today,” or, “I probably shouldn’t eat this much,” or “I really want to live in a healthier way.” When you slow down and focus internally, you hear your own wise counsel. You may even hear a voice that says, “Wow, I really should take vacation more often.”

Being so into your work that you lose track of time is a wonderful place to be, but if you aren’t taking your vacation time year after year, you're postponing your joy and probably stressing yourself out. Take that vacay — it's good for your health.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Chris Freytag is a nationally recognized fitness expert, public speaker, contributing editor to Prevention magazine and an author. Her latest books are Get Started with Weight Loss, and Get Started with Clean Eating (and a vegetarian version). Chris also has a healthy cookbook titled, CHOOSE THIS! Chris shares her tips weekly on the Minneapolis NBC affiliate and has appeared on the Today Showand Lifetime TV. She has dozens of workout DVDs; the latest is her ACE HIIT series. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives, and works with adults, kids, and athletes, as well as several nonprofit organizations helping youth get active. Live life from a positive place and Love Your Body!

Get Healthy, Be Happy and Love Life! Get inspired weekly by signing up here! Find out more about Chris Freytag or contact her through her website at GetHealthyU.com on Facebook, Pinterest, or on Twitter.