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Out of the Office - On vacation

Vacation time is meant to be restorative and is important for our well-being. Although the way in which we spend our time while on vacation in 2024 may be different than in other years, there are many ways to find rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation within the current climate.

Kathy and I are looking forward to going to Panama City, Florida this year for our vacation. Kathy planned this trip about a year and a half ago and is psyched to get out of town and get to the beach. So am I, but I am not a real beach person. So you won't be seeing me laying on the beach all day long. So to keep my mind stimulated, I will be out there some of the time, but not all day. Besides I burn to a crisp when I am out there too long. I will be spending some time also putting together a jigsaw puzzle in our condo. I have it already picked out! So when I return I will feel refreshed and not look like "Mr. Tomato Head." Whatever we do, it so important to take some time off. Why? I found this an article online published by McMaster University Human Resources Department in Ontario, Canada that tells us why. I think it is good reading for not just Kathy and me, but for many who are still in the workplace.

Why should we take vacations?


  • Dedicating time for the purpose of rest, relaxation and to recharge is of critical importance; this isn’t often achieved over the course of a weekend or a couple of days, so dedicating time away to unplug can help us to reset.

  • Vacations have been known to help improve overall sleep quality.


  • When working under increased demands, we can quickly begin to feel rundown, and often experience fatigue, trouble concentrating, etc.

  • When we start to feel burned out at work, even the simplest of tasks becomes a challenge. Our passion starts to dull, and we lose some of our drive.

  • One study showed that a four-day “long weekend” vacation had positive effects on well-being, recovery, strain, and perceived stress for as long as 45 days. While the reduction in strain was greater for those who spent the vacation away from home, the other effects were similar for those who stayed home.

Vacation time is meant to be restorative and is important for our well-being!


  • Everyone has their limits, and pushing ourselves too far can actually become counterproductive. Most folks felt they were more productive as a result of taking time off.

  • Studies find chronic stress can affect the part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activities and causes problems with memory. Continuous work with no breaks or vacation time can make us feel blocked and distracted, and have problems concentrating. Surveys show almost three-quarters of people who took vacation time regularly felt more energized and ready to tackle the tasks at hand.


  • Stress is a true physiological response, originally meant to help us and keep us safe. It releases hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine for the fight or flight response that was necessary for early humankind. However, in modern society, chronic stress can be destructive to our bodies.

  • Taking time for regular breaks (including vacations) and leaving our everyday stresses (even if temporarily) give us a break from the constant high levels of these hormones, and a chance to repair.


  • When we allow ourselves to relax, we’re able to open creative parts of our minds that we may not always be using on a day-to-day basis.

  • We can bring this inspiration back with us upon your return, and may find a new/creative way of doing things or solving an issue we’ve been facing.


  • While career aspirations are an important focus, the relationships with those closest to us are also of paramount importance.  If we’re constantly logging long hours or checking our phone and email all evening, the important people in our lives may begin to feel less important or even neglected. Even a short amount of time away allows us to unplug from our jobs and spend quality time with our loved ones.


  • It can be easy to put off taking vacation, especially when there doesn’t appear to be much going on, however, there really is no better time than the present to start enjoying time doing things outside of our professional endeavors (e.g. “unplugged” quality time with family).

  • Taking time away isn’t a luxury, it’s essential to our health and well-being.

Cioa, Arrivederci, Au revoir, Tschüssi, Adios, Sayonara, Shalom, Saalam, do pobachennya, alavida, e noho ra, donadagohvi, goodbye, until we meet again.


Fr. Bill+

P.S. - I will let you figure out from which languages are the above goodbyes.


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