One of the characteristics well known to the French are holidays. All French go on holiday in the summer and not just for a week, they are going on vacation for at least 2 to 3 weeks when it is not more. With paid holidays of 5 weeks per year, French are taking their vacations and enjoying them; it is a definite recognized lifestyle. This earns them the saying that French are working to live and enjoy their lives, at the contrary to us, Americans who usually live to work and at the end, feel guilty if we do not work.
Peace and serenity in Sedona, Arizona. Wild Sedona.
Taking a vacation does not mean being lazy and not being productive for the companies we work for. On the contrary, it has been proved by many researches, that taking holidays and time off work increase the productivity of employees.
Everyone needs vacation! Pinterest.
According to some studies, employees who do not take vacations after several weeks of work are more prone to stress and all its outcomes, such as cardiovascular problems and other stress-related illness. There is a direct link between stress and certain health problems such as headaches, heart attack or strokes, cancer and other infection diseases due to a weak immune system. It has been scientifically established that vacations reduce the risk of burnout.
Cultural vacation in Venice Italy. Ca’Sagredo Hotel.
The holidays allow your body and mind to recover from stress related to work and everyday life and in turn increase our immune defenses.
Obviously, holidays have an impact on work life or productivity. A rested and relaxed employee will be much more effective than a tired employee.
Some of the best beaches are in Corsica, France. Routard.
Holidays: a must to work better.
This rest period often favors the creativity and imagination of the employees.
In addition, by keeping you away from the daily stressors, vacations often give you the opportunity to catch up on some sleep and exercise. This is also the perfect time to try new recipes, taste new flavors and fill your lungs with fresh air.
Pink Flamingoes in Camargue France, Le Camarge.
Unfortunately, in the US, it is often frowned upon to take vacations. We are afraid to be looked at a slacker if we are taking weeks of vacation. If we leave our workplace, who will do our job and will we be replaced. We might feel guilty that our workload will have to be done by our other co-workers, some people might be jealous. Will our boss think I am not a dedicated employee for taking 2 weeks’ vacation? How can I take 2 weeks’ vacation? In large American cities like New York, it is not in our mentality to take and enjoy vacation. It looks better when we work, even if we are too tired to produce anymore. Vacancy often means an overload of work before and after holidays, stress related to logistical preparation, negative expectations and ultimately fatigue or even frustration.
Discovering Corsica, Wikipedia.
Knowing how to take and enjoy holidays is an art that the French know! You have to know how to prepare them and leave with peace of mind, proud and happy to go on vacation. Going on holiday has recognized benefits as much on our personal life, as professional and especially our health.
Vacation on bicycles, Cuthbert House Inn.
On the professional level you must also anticipate your absence, communicate in advance with your colleagues, clients and providers. This will avoid last-minute demands and pre-holiday stress that often result in a painful back or shoulder pains or even a cold sore on your lips on the first day of the holiday!
Enjoying the sunset on a sailboat, Wikipedia.
In addition, cleaning up your office before your vacation can help you prepare for a new start and start on a good foundation when you return. This allows you to press the “reset” button of your brain: you erase everything and start again later! Clean up also means sorting out the superfluous from the priority. Thus, when you return, you will know the most urgent tasks to accomplish. Another very good reason to leave often!
Maybe that is a reason why French companies are productive, the more you leave for vacation, the better you will get in organizing your office. This will help your productivity and reduce your stress at work.
On a personal level: Too often, family relationships suffer from a daily routine in speed mode. Holidays are a good way to discover each member of your family in a different way and build memories that will last a lifetime.
Riding horses during vacation.
You can spice up your love life. A survey by the U.S. Travel Association showed that couples who travel together have a better sex life, are more romantic and are more satisfied within their couple than the others. The journey allows you to get out of your routine and be more creative in your approach to love by very often putting you in the same state of mind as when you both just met.
Romantic dinner in Monte Carlo, La Maree Monaco.
The holidays also free up our five senses! Forget about your phones and computers for a while.
If you are vacationing in the south of France, welcome the smells of lavender. Enjoy the beautiful colors of the sunset on the beach, the exotic flowers, the deep blue of the ocean. Feel the sensations of the fine sand beneath your toes, let yourself meditate with the sounds of the soothing waves or the song of the birds. Give your sensations the place they deserve, they are so often ignored.
Open yourself to spirituality. Allow yourself time for relaxation, meditation or just inner silence. Plan for readings that will make your mind travel even further.
Meditation vacation, Vacances Vues du Blog
Place yourself as an observer of your mind and see what blocks. Observing involves taking the necessary step back to have a finer and objective view of the situation. To place you as an observer diverts you from excesses of emotions and errors of judgment.
Working the cattle in a Montana ranch.
In addition, it is well known that regular sports reduce anxiety and holds many benefits on physical health. Organizing time spent on one or more sports activities during your vacation will help you relax distress and maybe even get rid of some addictions. Maybe you can even continue these sports for the rest of the year. Why not open yourself up to a new sporting practice?
Sport vacation with paragliding, YouTube.
And even if your vacation are not developing as good as you wished for, adopt the well-known principle of AA serenity prayers: “Have the serenity to accept things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference” .
A French expression says: Take what is available to take!
Go back to being a child again and enjoy your vacation!
Take advantage of this time of retreat and let go!
Safari in Africa, KMI Airport.
If for financial or other reasons, you cannot afford to go on vacation, still take your days off and start a hobby. When I was young, I was working in the buying office of Saks Fifth Avenue. Stressful job with ridiculous salaries. I could not afford to go on vacation, I decided to learn how to paint. My vacation was my painting. I was escaping through the paintings I was creating. My mind got to relax, my stress went down and I felt as refreshed as the one who travelled abroad.
Serenity in Cape Cod, TripAdvisor.
If you do not take a vacation for budget reasons, go for a long weekend, it will do good for everyone.
Thinking of places to travel can increase your creativity according to a study by the American Psychological Association. By imagining yourself and projecting yourself in these beautiful places, you are somehow more conscious of yourself. Even if you do not go on holiday this summer, let yourself be transported by your dreams of your next vacation.