Earlier this week I took a random day off. It wasn’t spontaneous because I scheduled it with my boss in advance, but it was random in that one day last week I realized I needed a day off to do nothing.
I’m able to do that because at the start of each calendar year I divide up my days off among the four quarters. I find it restorative to take some time off each quarter. Admittedly, I don’t take as many days in January, February and March because it’s just too cold. Some of the days are floaters, meaning I may change when I take them closer to the time.
The point, though, is to schedule the time off and to take the time. Many Americans, however, will leave an average of nine paid vacation days unused this year, according to a new survey reported by Marketplace.org.
Not taking the time has a cost. Marketplace.org also reports that women who don’t take vacations are two to eight times more likely to suffer from depression, while for men the risk of heart attack rises by a third.
One of my favorite times to vacation happens in late summer/early fall. I attend the National Federation of Press Women Conference and sign up for the pre- or post-tour and sometimes a day tour. Those extra days off give me time to recharge my batteries, explore America and hang out with a bunch of amazing women (and men).
If you haven’t, now is a good time to be sure you have scheduled all of your vacation days.