Have you heard about this thing called the "disappearing American vacation"?
I heard about it last week for the first time and it got me thinking that, collectively, we are heading towards some pretty serious imbalances when it comes to our health.
Basically, this growing phenomena draws awareness to the fact that we are taking less vacation and feeling more exhausted than ever. The disastrous impact of chronic overwork on our productivity, happiness, relationships, hormonal health and mental state is a very real thing.
If you're a creative lady feeling stressed and grappling to find time for vacation, this post is for you.
Here's some insight into the importance of vacation for your hormonal health, plus one hugely important question to ask before booking yourself time-off.
Do you lack the energy to listen and connect with people? When you're not working, do you prefer to stay home than go out and socialize? Do you wake up feeling depleted before you've even started your day?
These are classic signs that something is up with the delicate hormonal conversation in your body, and it's very possible that cortisol is waging a war and wreaking havoc on your life. Chronic effects of high cortisol leads to premature aging, reduced fertility, loneliness, depression, and burnout.
The good news is that you can heal your stress overload on your own – no invasive interventions or medications needed.
The right kind of vacation can be a powerful way to shed some stress, so much that researchers in a Harvard study wanted to measure the biological effects of a 1-week vacation (called the vacation effect) and a 1-week meditation retreat (called the meditation effect).
Just one-week away from the daily grind was proven to have some significant effects on gene expression. The study found that the “vacation effect” had immediate short term benefits, while the “meditation effect” had even longer-lasting benefits.
Researches confirmed that a vacation, and even more powerfully a meditation retreat, not only influences our aging markers, immune system, hormonal health and stress regulation, but the benefits can last up to 10 months for new or novice meditators.
In short, vacation is great news for everyone!
Creative lady, if stress is a big factor in your life, you have got to take that vacation, or better yet book that meditation retreat!
Being a work martyr isn't going to make you more successful, nor will it make you happy.
Do you feel a lack of warmth, love, and connection in your relationships? Do you sometimes walk by people you know and avoid saying hi, not because you don't like them but because you just don't feel like connecting?
If you said yes to any of the above, you likely have an imbalance in oxytocin, often directly related to an imbalance in cortisol. You should know that it's really not your fault. Our hormones affect our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Want more twinkle in your eyes and more joy in your relationships? Here's a little secret.
Stress and our ability to feel connected isn't about how we handle or deal with others, but how we handle ourselves.
If you’re challenging yourself to grow creatively, mentally and physically, at some point, learning when to downshift and honour a "clean cut" from work is a pressing call to your awareness.
A vacation can give you the necessary time you need to catch up on sleep, listen to relaxing music, meditate, get a massage, hug, laugh, play and soak in the sunlight- all of which support hormonal balance, and can help you feel like yourself again.
Now, A QUESTION FOR YOU
So let me ask you, what do you really need to feel balanced?
If you're anything like me and you're always looking for your next adventure in some exotic far-away-land, then carving out a vacation isn't necessarily the issue.
For me, I can think of a few vacations over the years that didn't turn out to be much of a vacation at all, and unfortunately the only "cleanse" I ended up experiencing was that of my wallet.
I wasn't booking myself the right kind of vacations that I needed to feel balanced. On top of that, I wasn't setting proper boundaries in my life to avoid feeling such a desperate need for vacation every few months.
if you haven't been feeling like yourself lately, now is the time to start thinking about what you really need to feel like yourself again. Your hormones will thank you for it!
Summer is less than a month away. So tell me, what will your summer vacay look like? What about a staycation?
Hope to see you in the comments below.
Do you know a friend who is in desperate need of a vacation right now? Show some lovin' care and share this post.
Much love and lady flow care,
Elaine Clark, nutritionist, writer, women's health pioneer, and founder of LADYFLOW. Elaine is creating a movement of women living in sync with their hormonal wisdom and creativity. Elaine works with health conscious women to feel at home in their body and awaken to their creative potential. She offers a variety of tools to support women with her workshop offerings, retreats, and wellness products.