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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

October is a popular vacation month. Many school calendars include a fall break, providing an opportunity for families to spend time together. The Butler County Schools District’s fall break was the first week in October. Vacations give us a break, a change of pace.

 According to Allison Van Dusen (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_articleny _103348.html), American workers got fewer vacation days per year than many other countries, earning an average of 14 days (Great Britain averages 24 days, Germany 26 days, Spain 30 days, and France 36 days). Yet, numerous U.S. adults do not use all of their time off. Though they may be concerned about their jobs or their budgets, vacations are healthy choices.

 Dr. Jessica Wu stated that travel is a component of good physical and mental health, explaining that the break from daily routine allows the body to recover from stress. She also said that “studies have shown that people who take more vacations tend to live longer, sleep better, and have less heart disease than those who take fewer vacations…. Even three-day weekends have been shown to improve sleep and mood” (http://www.dailyglow.com/personal-care-tips/why-travel-is-good-for-your-...). Scheduling some downtime during a holiday or a vacation seems to be the key. For example, taking a walk while on vacation can have benefits even after returning home.

 Elizabeth Scott, a wellness coach, author, and health educator, explained that vacations are important because they promote creativity, delay burnout, improve job performance, and strengthen relationships. But, more importantly, she reported that vacations promote health and wellbeing and relieve stress in lasting ways. Scott said that vacations are the gifts we give ourselves “that keep on giving” (http://stress.about.com/od/workplacestress/a/vacations.htm).

 People have different thoughts about vacations. Some of these are expressed below:

-A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking. –Earl Wilson
-A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. - Robert Orben
-The thing I love most about going on vacation is that I get to leave behind any kind of schedule. My entire life is scheduled from morning to night, and when I'm on vacation, there is no schedule. –Kelly Clarkson
-The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn't know enough to take a vacation. –Clarence Day

A friend recently said that vacations are a “time out, an opportunity to step back, get off the treadmill and see the big picture.” Regardless of the time or place, vacations are beneficial, which is a great reason to start planning your next one.

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