According to Glassdoor's Q1 2014 Employment Confidence Survey, the average U.S. employee only takes half of his or her eligible vacation time. While taking a vacation and actually using up all your days off might seem like an unnecessary luxury that falls to the bottom of your priority list, a getaway is actually more necessary for your health and wellness routine than you think!
If you're worried that no one else will be able to handle your daily tasks at work, or the thought of the pile of work that will be left on your desk when you come back is giving you major anxiety, this is just further proof you need a break from the daily demands of your life.
Ernest & Young, an accounting firm, did an internal study of its employees in 2006 that found for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors improved by 8%. Why? A well rested and rejuvenated mind is often more effective and has improved intellectual functioning.
As demonstrated by several studies, vacations are certainly known for reducing stress. What we tend to forget is that by reducing stress, we also reduce the risk for several health conditions like headaches, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and immune system distress. Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – tend to decline after only one or two days away.
Plus, a vacation also gives you the opportunity to catch up on both sleep and exercise!
Vacations can strengthen relationships in two ways: 1) by giving your family the opportunity to spend time together outside of your normal, most likely stressful, daily routine, or 2) giving you a much needed break to rejuvenate and refresh from your responsibilities within your family dynamic - let's face it, we all need time away from our loved ones sometimes. In a previous study, 53% of Americans said they come back feeling reconnected with their family after vacation.
It doesn't need to be 3 plane rides south in the Caribbean or a 2 week road trip across the country. Just planning a few nights away where you can leave your worries behind will do the trick! AND it's not just the time away that's beneficial. Having something to look forward to is incredibly rewarding and you can feel the planning effects up to 8 weeks before your trip!
Part of living #TheLucyLife is exploration, travel adventures, and embracing your inner wanderluster alongside of being the happiest, healthiest version of you! But, it's hard enough to get to the gym and eat healthy when at home, let alone on the road - regardless of if you're traveling for work or pleasure. Either way, traveling is not a sufficient excuse for slacking on your health and fitness goals! Here's a few super simple tips on staying fit no matter where life takes you!
No hotel gym? No problem! Workout right in your room before you go anywhere (because it's a lot easier to blow it off later when you don't know what the rest of your day may bring). There are plenty of apps, websites, and YouTube channels out there for you to explore. If you don't know where to start, head back to the basics. There's nothing wrong with conventional burpees, jumping jacks, crunches, planks, and push-ups! Or pick a few from this list of 50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere.
Pack a water bottle and take it with you literally everywhere. Airplanes, road trips, and going off road of your typical schedule all play a larger role in dehydration than you may think. Not only does being dehydrated leave you feeling sluggish, but it also affects your body's ability to burn fat.
One of the best parts of traveling is trying all the local food. There's no need to stop that, just be mindful about it. Control your portions and track what you're eating along with the physical activity you're doing (we love myfitnesspal for this). It's a lot easier to stop overindulging in it's tracks when you can see the numbers. Over your goal by the end of the day? Try taking a walk after dinner or going for a late night swim - anything to get you moving! Even things like taking the stairs can add up extra calories burned throughout the day!
When traveling, you often don't know when your next meal will be. And if you're traveling with others, we all know it can take a few hours to decide on where to go. Make it easier on yourself and be always prepared to combat hunger. Granola bars, nuts, and dry fruit are great options that won't get smushed hanging out in your bag throughout the day.
If you're wondering where the heck August came from, we are right there with you. Summer is sadly winding down, so to help you make the most of every last moment, we've put together an awesome bucket list for you to tackle this month! Don't forget to hashtag your summer memories with #TheLucyLife!
Get rid of what's unnecessary. Physical clutter causes mental clutter. It's amazing how much clearer life can get when you take a few hours to get rid of the material things you don't need that are physically clogging up your space!
Getting rid of unnecessary material possessions is liberating on its own. Take decluttering to the next level by donating items to those in need instead of just throwing everything away.
3.) Complain Less
Give life a break. It's never perfect and it never will be. Complaining won't change anything about the situation, it will just give you a bad attitude and will also rub off on others. Complaining encourages discomfort and discomfort can make life complicated.
4.) Say "No"
Over booking yourself and constantly extending your energy way beyond your limits makes day to day life extraordinarily complicated, not to mention exhausting. By over-accommodating others now, you're burning yourself out and limiting what you can do for those around you in the future.
5.) Make up your mind
Lose phrases like "I don't know", or "ask me later". Save some time and energy by challenging yourself to be decisive in the moment.
6.) Do it now
Research shows that 95 percent of people report having procrastination problems. So, start making a conscious effort to, as worded by Benjamin Franklin, "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."
7.) Think big first
One of the best ways to stop procrastinating and get tasks off your plate is to put the hardest, most energy consuming task at the top of your to-do list. Not only will you be less stressed for the rest of the day by getting the big stuff out of the way, but you'll also be left with a sense of accomplishment to keep you motivated!
8.) Ask for help
There's no need for you to do everything on your own. No one gets an award for being able to do it all. Delegate your tasks at work and trust they'll get done and reach out to the friends and family around you to help manage your plate. You'll be surprise how many people are ready and willing to give you a hand. Plus, asking for help strengthens your relationship with the people around you.
You know that annoying 3:00 pm no-energy zone of the afternoon? Instead of reaching for your third (or fourth) cup of coffee or longing for a cat nap, try one of these energy boosting pick-me-up snacks that are ultra easy to make and your body with thank you!
Mix 6 ounces of plain Greek Yogurt with 1 tablespoon of granola, a dab of honey and a few berries. The mix of grains, nuts and dried fruit in grand is packed with nutrients to super charge this snack! / Photo from Health.com
Our top priority at Lucy Marie is to make women feel amazing about who they are. We exist to encourage women to flaunt their features and own their curves instead of being embarrassed and ashamed of their body.
The world needs less critics and more compliments. Join us in living #TheLucyLife by learning how to build up the people in your own life…
Life is too short for “somedays” and “should haves.” We’re only given 24 hours each day and we believe in making the most of every last minute - it's what #TheLucyLife is all about. We challenge you to take on 10 of these tips this week and tweet us your results.