In Europe every worker is guaranteed four weeks paid vacation. It's actually a law, and most Europeans actually get six weeks off or more.

In the United States, meanwhile, 29 percent of workers took no paid vacation time in 2007, and 24 percent took off one week or less.

Could this be why Europeans generally enjoy better health than Americans, being half as likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, including heart disease, hypertension and type II diabetes after they reach age 50? According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, Europeans spend around half the amount Americans do on health care.

Taking time off from work is a key to staying healthy, both mentally and physically. In fact, according to a study by the Families and Work Institute, employees who are overworked (i.e., those who do NOT take vacations) are more likely to:
  • Make mistakes
  • Be angry at their employers and colleagues who don't work as hard
  • Have higher stress levels
  • Feel symptoms of clinical depression
  • Neglect themselves and report poor health

A vacation should provide time away so that you can de-stress, relax, feel rejuvenated and take time to just 'be.' You may be thinking, 'Well I can't afford a vacation to a tropical island or even to Florida, so what can I do?'

Actually, plenty.

The True Meaning of Vacation -- and How to Take One Often

Vacation does not mean spending a lot of money to go to Disney World or Aruba. If you can do that, and you enjoy it, then fine. But you can get the same benefits of stress relief, relaxation and rejuvenation by getting away for just one day, even if it is to the forest preserve down the street.

You see, a vacation means going to a 'place' of peace and joy that enables you to refresh. What many people don't realize is that you can get to this 'place' without spending a dime.

'Vacations are important because they are a break from our everyday routine. However, many of us feel even more stress on vacation than we do at work,' says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. 'The key to vacations, whether you do them away from work or simply by taking an inner vacation, is to recognize that what you are is already at rest.'

'If you expect to get rest, relaxation and enjoyment out of going on vacation when you are not able to do that in your everyday life, you will likely be disappointed,' he continues. 'This disappointment is due to the fact that you are often simply running away from that which causes you stress. And when you avoid stress it simply morphs and follows you around.'

So while it's great to travel and see the world, please do NOT feel that you must plan an extravagant trip to feel refreshed. You can actually feel like you're on vacation even while you're at home, if you use the technique of releasing taught in The Sedona Method.

'Every time you release using The Sedona Method, you almost feel like you just took a mini vacation,' Dwoskin says. 'So you can get all the benefits of being on vacation anytime, anywhere by letting go. Plus, if you get into the habit of taking many vacations through releasing you find that when you actually do take a vacation you will be able to put down the stresses and strains of everyday life and enjoy the vacation a lot more.'

You can get started on your mini-vacation right now by taking part in this Sedona Method Release on welcoming your fears. As you do this, you'll feel your fears dissolve, replaced by a new found lightness. While The Sedona Method will work anywhere you choose to do it, you may feel the benefits of your 'vacation' more intensely if you also physically remove yourself from your routine, for instance listening to the recording in a park, coffee shop, or anyplace you find soothing and that you don't visit often.

Doing so will give you the much-needed break that we all need to feel at peace.