Wow, what a difference twenty-four hours makes! I recently was able to get a whole day away from my farm to celebrate our wedding anniversary. My last night off was back in October for my nephews wedding, otherwise I have been doing the daily farm chores every day, milking, feeding cleaning and fixing to keep my dairy farm going. Yes, some days maybe were slower than others, but the cows need to be milked and fed even on Sunday. I am not trying to complain or brag about not getting more time off, but I really had no reason to get away with almost everything canceled or virtual.
No matter what you do, taking time away from your job can have physical and psychological health benefits. Taking a vacation can lower stress levels and lessen the risk of heart disease. Taking time off can give you a better outlook on life and can give you a clearer mind to motivate and achieve goals.
Scientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it could not if it were still under pressure.
Most people feel more productive and focused after returning from a trip. Mainly from the reduced stress of the daily grind. Many people say they even sleep better after taking time off. Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Taking time off can be very beneficial to the health of marriages and relationships. Quality family time can create some pretty good memories too. I heard once that a good vacation is much better than buying that big screen television, while it may sound nice, in a few years they are worn out and need to be replaced. Memories will last a lifetime!
Did you know that just planning a vacation can boost happiness? Anytime you are excited and looking forward to doing something relaxing it helps increase a positive attitude and can create higher productivity levels.
The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give us the break we need to return to our lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.
Let us face it with all the stress and different ways we have had to live over the last year, most of us are ready for a break. I am not saying we should all jump on the next airplane to the tropics, but maybe just a few hour drive could be a good for a little relaxation. As for me, I hope to take a few more days off from my farm to some place warmer before spring planting and hay making arrives.
Pete Badtke is a dairy farmer from Ripon, Wisconsin where he milks 90 cows and runs about 300 acres of land. Pete started farming in 1987. He has been married for 16 years to his wife Lori and has 2 daughters, Kasie and Sarah. Pete currently serves as director on Green Lake County Farm Bureau board and as chairman of Calvary Lutheran Church in Princeton.