I’m struggling. I’m struggling to switch off. And I’ve learned to read between the lines a bit more as I’ve gotten older.
It’s taken some doing in therapy and these newsletters to allow me to admit that. Early life experiences left me a firm believer in my carapace of invincibility and I only paused to re-evaluate this in my adult life. See? You can teach an old dog new tricks.
I’m not complaining about WFH. I’ve done a lot of that since starting ideamix and the period since the lockdown has been amazingly productive for our whole team. But my husband and our kids are less than happy with me. Even my childhood nanny who rarely has a bad thing to say about me is feeling like I’ve turned into a bit of work robot.
So is vacation beneficial and essential?
Lowers stress, risk of heart disease and the chronic disease trifecta of diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension
Improves mental health
More positive outlook on life
Increases mental focus, productivity and memory
Decreases the risk of burnout
Improves familial relationships
Even the act of planning a trip kicks off the positive effects in the several weeks leading up to the vacation. Vacations are to the mind and soul what chicken soup is to the flu.
The reality is we get a bit of a bum deal here in the US. Regular vacations are not a priority.
We’re the only developed country that mandates 0 (yes, that’s right) days of vacation a year. Just us and Kiribati, Tonga, Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands
1/4 of Americans don’t get any paid time off
The average vacation days offered are 10 a year
54% of Americans don’t take the vacation days they have
The result is exactly what you’d expect:
Men who don’t take vacations are 30% more likely to have heart attacks and
For women, that number is 50%
I’m struggling to switch off and resist the temptation of work. The good news is I love what I do. The bad news is I love what I do because it causes me to think up 10 ideas a minute when I’m in my creative whitespace here on vacation.
My son’s withering look is preventing me from reaching for my computer to actually do something about the ideas. Just as well because they say in Transcendental Meditation, most of the ideas you think are so great during TM are like your mind having a dump. Don’t worry about remembering them. The actually good ideas will stay with you beyond the TM session.
My actually good ideas will be back in September. Until then, I’m on vacation and you should be too.
Sam Jayanti is the Founder of ideamix and writes on a wide range of topics in business. She is an alum of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, and was at Palantir, Good Governance Group, HarperCollins and JP Morgan in various roles over her 25 year career.