This past week I returned home from a long-awaited beach vacation. After a trying and lonely 2020, I felt that I really needed a vacation. My physical and emotional tank was running low and I was becoming much less productive. The COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s associated isolation, really reinforced the point that human contact, vacation and recreation are essential.
Recreation is necessary for your overall wellness. It is more than just entertainment. Recreation improves both your physical and emotional well-being. It recharges your body and makes you more productive at work and improves family and social relationships.
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. This is due in large part to our decrease in physical activity and sedentary lifestyles. With modern conveniences, we really don’t have to move much at all or exert much energy to complete our work and self-care tasks.
Recreation is a fun way to reintroduce essential movement and physical activity into our lives.The obvious by product is that we will be healthier, more physically fit and be more likely to achieve an ideal body weight. The concomitant benefits that occur however should not be underestimated. Recreation also promotes social bonds and community interest and a subsequent desire to volunteer and perform public service. This leads to more empathy, better mental health and overall well-being.
Here in the United States, a workaholic attitude is often applauded. But each year, more than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table. Vacation time is down to 17 days a year in the United States. This is approximately half of the vacation taken in European countries.
The US Travel Association states that “Vacation is essential for strong bonds, a productive workforce and fulfilled life.“
I couldn’t say it better.