Are you having trouble concentrating? Feeling pessimistic? A little grumpy? Suffering from headaches? A lack of focus? Sleep problems? Are you finding it difficult to use up your work vacation entitlement? If so, read on, because you could be suffering from vacation deprivation.
What's keeping you from your vacation?
An Expedia.ca/Ipsos-Reid poll revealed that 24 per cent of employed Canadians do not take all of their yearly-allotted vacation days. Survey participants cited work (time) and money as being the two most significant reasons for not taking their annual vacation entitlement.
Twenty-three per cent of employed Canadians aren't taking their full vacation allotment because of work issues, says stress and wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King. "Canadians are conditioned to value productivity as opposed to work-life balance."
But too much work and not enough play can result in negative physiological, physical and behavioural issues. "Time away from work, especially stress-free time on vacation, is essential to maintaining mental and physical health, as well as relationships with friends and family," says Beuermann-King.
It's often hard for some people to disengage from work, even while on vacation, as evidenced further by this survey statistic: Fifteen per cent of Canadians check their work e-mail while on vacation. But, as part of the vacation experience, it's important to disengage completely from day-to-day stressors.
Page 1 of 3 – Discover how to make the most of your vacation days even when money is tight on page 2.
Got the time, but not the money?
Eighteen per cent of Canadians who don't use their full vacation allotment cite lack of money as the reason for not taking a holiday. Too often, the word "vacation" implies an exotic destination, but the Canadian Tourism Commission suggests that fun and fabulous vacations are often on our doorstep. Check with your provincial (and city) tourism offices to find out what's available in your own urban/rural backyard.
Provincial tourism offices:
• British Columbia
• Travel Alberta
• Tourism Saskatchewan
• Travel Manitoba
• Ontario Tourism
• Tourisme Quebec
• Tourism New Brunswick
• Tourism PEI
• Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture
• Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador
• Travel Yukon
• Spectacular Northwest Territories
• Nunavut Tourism
Also, check out our great Canadian parks guide for all of the best family-friendly vacation spots you won't want to miss!
Page 2 of 3 – Do you work non-stop? Find out what the top three overworked professions are on page 3.
Another survey, recently commissioned by Princess Cruises, reveals that nurses, teachers and homemakers fit the profile of the most overworked professions. The Escape Completely survey unveils a contest for those sorely in need of an exotic escape.
A vacation doesn't need to be costly in order to be relaxing. "You need to plan your vacation to meet your needs," stresses Beuermann-King. "I tell people they need to have a goal for their vacation." Lounging on the deck, biking, hiking or picnicking at a city park may be just what the doctor ordered.
If both time and money concerns seem to be holding you back from planning a vacation, think about planning manageable downtime. Can't take a week? Take a weekend and a good book. Making time for play allows you to return to work refreshed and renewed.
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