I’ve always envied the Europeans and Australians who take a holiday – FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH! I knew that as Americans, we don’t take enough time to relax. We look forward to walking out of the office at the end of the week, high-fiving coworkers with a big TGIF. Every week. With only quick jaunts here and there. Now, there’s sobering proof that we take things way too serious and it’s killing us off, one by one.
If you watched the video above, produced by Royal Caribbean, you’ll realize some staggering facts:
- Men who take vacations are 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don’t; women who take vacations are 50 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don’t.
- Women who don’t take vacations are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression than other women who choose to take a vacation.
- Approximately 459 million days go unused in the United States per year.
- The average American spends 261 days commuting, filling out time sheets and wondering what’s for dinner.
I’m depressed just reading these facts and now I dread filling out that next time sheet at work or waiting in traffic to get home at the end of the day. I’ve never been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, but I have taken a family cruise, a volunteer cruise, and even a romantic cruise. After each cruise, I was happier, my husband was relaxed, and I think both of our hearts were healthier for having taken a true vacation.
To all of you who are giving up your vacation days each year, let’s take a deep look at what you’re really doing to yourself. Let go of that work guilt for a few days, book a cruise on one of those easy-pay programs (so you don’t worry about how to pay for it), and let yourself be free of everyday life. We’ve even put together some information for you on what’s included in your cruise and some tips on saving money on a cruise. Now, I’m not telling you to go out there and act like a lunatic, but to sit on a balcony and sip coffee or a cocktail, order room service, and do your heart some good while watching the sunset over an exotic destination.
I’m kind of liking Royal Caribbean’s motto: The Nation of Why Not. Read the official press release at the Royal Caribbean Press Center. After you read it, ask yourself, “Why not?”
Disclaimer: As my boss is well aware, I do not leave any vacation time unclaimed at the end of each fiscal year. Due to this practice, I do not suffer from depression, I have a very strong heart, and I laugh a lot.