Extended periods of relaxation are necessary

Q: I know that I should carve out time each year to take my family on vacation. But with a high-stress career and crazy schedules for everybody in the household, it’s been several years since we’ve made it happen. We’re just too busy!

Jim: I hear that sort of comment a lot from many people I know. But I encourage you to find a way to have some time off. Your family needs a chance to rest, regroup and have some fun together.

There’s an old adage: Nobody ever lays on their deathbed and says, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

It may surprise you to know that Americans collectively forfeit hundreds of millions of vacation days each year! In fact, in a typical year, over half of working Americans leave at least some of their allotted vacation time unused.

I can certainly appreciate that people give various economic reasons for not taking vacations — especially if travel expenses are involved. But there is another problem as well. From Fortune 500 executives to stay-at-home moms trying to keep an orderly house, many people feel there’s too much to do to actually stop working. The unfortunate consequence is that many Americans are making do with little or no time off.

But extended periods of rest and relaxation are not only good, but necessary for our health and future productivity. That’s why making time for rest is a principle we’re wise to follow.

So take time to recharge. Not everyone can take a two-week vacation to the beaches of Hawaii, but most of us can at least take a few days off a year to rest and refresh ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Jim Daly is an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program.

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