Why Your Counselor Might Advise You To Take A Vacation From Your Work

Is there any person on this planet who thinks that humans work most of their entire life? Having at least eight hours of work is the standard for most countries in the world. For more progressive countries, eight hours of work do not give family and personal life enough time. And not surprisingly, throughout the world, there seems to be an increasing trend of work burnout. This is mostly observed within business corporations.

Doing manual labor for an eight-hour duration, on the other hand, is a whole different topic. It can be more physically and mentally stressful than you might think. Yet working has been the primary purpose and means of people to survive. Do you know that Americans work more than any people on the planet? For example, according to the ILO, Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers.

Societies are more civilized than ever in the industrialized world, which is why we cannot take longer vacations. We spend most of our youth taking up multiple jobs to have a fulfilling retirement. This is how humanity created the perfect recipe for stress and burnout.

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Ultimately, stress from work affects various aspects of our health. It can have a serious impact on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Are you feeling overwhelmed with your current working situation? Here are some reasons why your counselor may suggest that you take a vacation leave immediately.

Reduce Stress And Decrease Chances Of Burnout
When you get tired of exercising, your body needs a rest. Just like working out, we all need to take the time to replenish ourselves. Going on a nice trip or vacation can distract you from your work-related stress. Being in a different setting can help you disconnect from your professional identity to make your personal one.

If you are burnt out due to overwork, your counselor might advise you to take vacation leave to improve your mental health. Studies show that vacationing can reduce your stress and ultimately decrease your chances of burnout. Here are other benefits of having a vacation for your mental and emotional wellbeing:

  • Taking a vacation boosts your dopamine, which makes you feel good
  • Having leisure time makes you happier and more satisfied with your life
  • Vacations let you have better sleep
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Your mind and body need to return to their normal, pre-stress functioning so you can avoid the negative effects of long-term stress. Visiting suburban places or even rural ones can help you unwind and feel reinvigorated. This way, you can come back to work more energized and willing to perform better.

Vacations Can Improve Your Heart Health
Aside from reducing stress and the mental health benefits of taking a vacation, it can also improve your physical health. Work-related other negative stress can contribute to various cardiovascular diseases. Chronic stress and anxiety at work can also increase blood pressure.

According to a New York Times report in 2008, taking a vacation at least every two years can lessen the risk of acquiring coronary heart disease. It can also reduce the risk of having heart attacks. Taking the opportunity to unwind, de-stress, and spend time with loved ones can improve your heart health.

Traveling for longer occasions can also be beneficial for your overall physical health. If your vacation requires you to do some exercises or practice a sport, it is better.

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Other Reasons Why Your Counselor Might Advise A Vacation Leave
The majority of individuals working throughout the day do not have the time for their families. From improving your mental health to your physical health, your counselor may also advise a vacation leave if you struggle with your relationships. There is always room for improvement when it comes to your connection with other people. Vacations can strengthen relationships, whether it be your kids, spouse, friends, or workmates.

Traveling and exploring different places with other people can also provide excitement throughout the trip. Talking to them about life or work experiences can alleviate your emotional burden. You can learn how to be more compassionate with one another. Vacation can help you bond them deeper on a personal level.

Probably one of the most important purposes of taking a vacation leave is increasing your creativity. Aside from distracting you from work-related stress, going on trips can boost your imagination. Being exposed to new sights, cultures, and languages can revitalize your mind. Moreover, it can also enhance your productivity in the long run. Employees who take their time to recharge mentally are sharper and engaged in their work. When you come back to work, this can translate to better job performance.

Whatever the reason for your vacation leave, it is important to pause and rest from time to time. Talk to your counselor if you ever find the need for a break from your work routine.

Outdoor Activities Allowed In British Columbia During The Pandemic

The 2019 Outdoor Event, which is the largest outdoor show, will not happen again until 2021. The pandemic has brought about changes in plans to adjust accordingly to social distancing protocols. While most of the world is encouraged to stay at home, British Columbia still allows some outdoor activities. But these activities require people to observe social distancing. Here are some that you can do:

Camping

Campgrounds in British Columbia are to re-open by June. Campsites will be on a full distance from other campsites. Also, there will be a limit on the number of allowed visitors in the camping ground. Backcountry cabins and cooking facilities will remain close for the meantime. On the other hand, shower rooms will implement intensive cleaning protocols to ensure the guests’ safety.

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Hiking And Biking

Locals can still utilize the biking and hiking trail for recreational use. New signs are in place to remind everyone to keep a safe distance to prevent the spread of the virus. Not all paths are allowed, only those trails that can enable people to maintain six feet distance are operating. While the government allows these kinds of activities, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations, especially the new ones, when going out to do these.

Visit Parks

Parks remain open despite the pandemic. While authorities allow it, they stress the need to follow the guidelines below strictly. 

  • No gathering in groups
  • Keep 2 meters (6 ft) distance
  • Always sanitize and wash your hands 
  • Contact activities are not allowed like frisbee and volleyball
  • Limit your visits so that others can get to visit too

Authorities say that ignoring of rules puts everyone’s health in danger. They warn against those who will ignore and violate the regulations that they may face trial by public shaming.

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Staying at home for an extended period may be draining for most. So, allowing these outdoor activities can benefit the well-being of the people. Although these activities might make people feel somewhat normal, it is crucial always to remember to live by the “new normal.”

Travel Plans To BC Cancelled – COVID-19 Impact

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My sister lives in British Columbia, Canada, and I was supposed to visit her this May. But with this pandemic going on, my travel plans and the reunion with my sister went to smoke. I have never been there, and she says it is beautiful. She wanted me to see the place, to feel it and experience it. We haven’t seen each other for five years, and we both have been saving up for this trip for the last two years. It is so unfair that this is happening, and I have to accept that it will be another year or so until I get to be with my twin.

British Columbia has 2,145 confirmed Coronavirus cases, with 1,357 recovered patients. Right now, their death toll is 112, and while it is not much, their local authorities are implementing strict rules on safety and social distancing.

Right now, BC is in a state of emergency, and its government website provides support and information. They have credible articles about COVID-19 and how to keep safe, away from Coronavirus exposure. It also mentioned an emergency benefit for workers since they advocate that their priority is to protect British Columbians. They are setting up plans on protecting their province for this pandemic so that they can effectively respond to it. As for the emergency benefit, they are giving away $1000 for each worker who complies with the requirements.

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Other benefits for BC citizens include:

  1. All low to mid-income family earners get a special GST/HST credit payment, which is about $400 to $600. This is a federal benefit.
  2. As for their province, they proposed a Climate Action Tax Credit. There is a payment of $218 per adult, $218 for the eldest child, and $64 for every additional child. This is eligible in July 2020.
  3. They have set up child care services in case parents cannot take care of their child at this time, no charges.
  4. Online tools are available so that kids can continue with their education.
  5. Student loans are not due until September 2020. It’s been frozen for six months and at no interest.
  6. Those with special needs children can avail of emergency relief funding, if eligible.
  7. Businesses that can help out with the COVID-19 situation are encouraged to provide products or services.
  8. There is emergency financial support for workers and business owners.
  9. As for housing, tenants are not evicted even when they cannot pay – government subsidizes and assists landlords/renters.
  10. They even have a mental health support system for everyone.

The province came well-prepared for this fight, and it’s because they have good governance and money to spare. This is probably one of the reasons why my sister loves it there, and that she wants me to see how promising BC is for me as well.

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Actually, this vacation was sort of a test drive if I will like the BC way of life. Browsing through that site, I am seeing that BC is taking care of its own. And it’s true. My sister even attested to receiving the benefits. She is unemployed at the moment, but that resourcefulness of her, she just cannot stay idle for long.

She loved to cook, just like our mother, and at times, I would hear “Clarita, can you make me those empanadas, one box, please. How much?” She has become a hit with her neighbors, and they ask for her food. That is how she earns there now, so even with unemployment due to COVID-19, she is getting by.

We have both accepted that it will take a bit of time before we will be together. But as long as we are both safe, then we will wait. BC, here I come 2021. Or 2022. Who knows.

Best Outdoor Activities You Can Do For Free

A while back, people held the 2017 Outdoor Activities Conference. The event proved that there are people committed to having fun outdoors and that it comes with many advantages. However, some ventures can be pricey. Not everyone can go camping, fishing, or even biking. So what things can you do for free? Here are some options:

Go For A Walk Or A Run

If you’re looking for fresh air and some sunshine, then going out for a walk is a simple activity you can do. You can take a short stroll around your neighborhood or go for a quick jog. You can also visit the park and bring your furry companion for added fun.

Go Hiking

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If you’re ready to commit to the outdoors, there are several hiking spots near any city or town. If you’ve never tried hiking before, you can ask for a guide or look online for trails that are suitable for beginners. If you’re going somewhere not too far, you won’t have to spend a single penny.

Play Tag

If you have children – or friends who are kids at heart – why not play a game of tag? The outdoors allows you to run around without worrying about breaking a vase or picture frame. There also isn’t any furniture in the way. You can stretch out those legs all you want!

Go Swimming

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If you’re lucky, you might have a lake or river near where you live. These places are often free for the public to enjoy. If you don’t, there’s likely a public pool you can access. Get up early, pack a bag for the day, and go to the nearest safe body of water and have fun swimming.

Yoga, Zumba, And Other Workouts

A lot of people go to the gym or yoga studio to get fit. However, memberships can be expensive. Thankfully, there’s now a lot of content available online. You can follow yoga, Zumba, and workout steps through free YouTube videos. You can do these out in your backyard or even at the park for more space and fresh air.

Summary

Enjoying the outdoors doesn’t have to cost you a single dollar. You have several options available such as taking a walk, hiking, playing a game of tag, swimming, or even merely moving your workout outside. There’s no excuse for us to stay cooped up inside and lose the opportunity to get some sunshine.

How The Natural Scenery Of British Columbia Lowers Stress

British Columbia is home to some of the majestic views in the world. Here, you can see mighty mountains, rich forests, sparkling lakes and rivers, and many more. The scenery here is close to magical.

If you’ve had a long day and want to relieve your stress, come travel to British Columbia. Studies have shown how viewing natural environments reduces an individual’s stress levels.

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The Positive Effects of the Environment on Us

The environment has the power to reduce our stress and make us feel better. “We don’t have to look far into history to know that humans evolved in natural settings and were deeply connected to their ecological environments,” wrote developmental psychologist Marilyn Price Mitchell, Ph.D. “In fact, our connections with nature could just be the best medicine for people of all ages—improving our health, happiness, and well-being,” she says.  Several scientists have looked into how much these environments affect our bodies. Depending on the place we are in, what we see or hear may affect not only our mood but also our physiological functions. Here are the different ways nature impacts an individual:

Improves Health

You may notice physical changes in your body when you are surrounded by nature. Have you ever laid down near the beach, watching the waves, and noticed how your heartbeat slows down? Or perhaps you hiked up a mountain one day and reached the top. When you were there at the summit, beholding the sight, you felt your muscles relax and your blood pressure lower. All of these factors help contribute to lowering your stress hormones.

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Calms Down Your Nerves

Maybe recently, you have walked in a park when you were going through rough times. You must have noticed how, after walking around, you somehow felt better. Being with nature reduces your worries, fears, stress, and even anger. Being able to view incredible sights or take in the fresh air will calm you down.

Boosts Your Mood

We are often left absorbed by the sight of something natural or pure. A glimpse of a tree in the middle of a field or watching the tides crash over the beach can help change your mood. You end up distracted from all the discomfort or pain you feel. It is a way for you to cope with what you may be going through. “Taking walks in nature lowers anxiety and depression while boosting mood and well-being, a large-scale study showed,” associate director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education Emma Seppala, Ph.D. explains. “Exposure to more light can boost Vitamin D levels that are known to increase mood, especially in colder months.”

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Being surrounded by peaceful nature is better than being in the city. The noisy roads or smoky streets can’t help but trigger a stressful day for you. The everyday hustle and bustle is the reason why people choose to go out of town for vacations.

Views To See In British Columbia

Now that you know how well nature can help you, right now you should consider taking a break. British Columbia is endowed with beautiful natural sceneries to help you cool off or relax. These places include mountains, lakes, rivers, and more. Here are 15 of the best spots you should consider visiting.

  1. Butchart Gardens
  2. Whistler
  3. Lussier Hot Springs
  4. Vancouver Island
  5. Granville Island
  6. Lynn Canyon Park
  7. Glacier National Park
  8. Yoho National Park
  9. Stanley Park
  10. Pacific Rim National Park
  11. Queen Elizabeth Park
  12. Great Beat Rainforest
  13. Haida Gwaii
  14. Alaska Highway
  15. Okanagan Valley

As excited as you are for the trip, always remember that you should adequately prepare your vacation for the best experience.  Richard E. Cytowic, M.D., MFA, professor of neurology at George Washington University, says, “Spending time in natural settings such as parks, lakes, forests, and mountains initially seemed to be a balm for digital distractions, and studies show that regularly engaging with the outdoors substantially reduces activity in the brain’s prefrontal areas that trigger rumination and a constant parade of negative thoughts.” Indeed, nature plays a significant role in both our physical and mental well-being. Always remember to take care of it since it may someday save you as well.

A Guide For A Romantic Trip In British Columbia

When thinking of the most romantic places on earth, the first few countries that come to mind are Paris, Italy, New York City, or even Germany. Little did most people know, British Columbia also has a lot to offer with its striking and jaw-dropping beauty.

With its stunning landscape and ocean, British Columbia is undoubtedly a perfect place, especially for couples. Below are some must-see places and helpful tips on how to treat your loved one in this dreamy city.

Places To Visit

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1. The Seawall

Vancouver offers a lot of places for couples to walk hand in hand, and the Seawall is one for the books. It is a famous place for visitors to bike, runs, or walk. The Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path.  It offers a beautiful view from the Vancouver Convention Center to Spanish Banks Park, a perfect place to spend your day with a loved one.

2. The Robson Square Ice Rink

If your trip falls between December and February, ice skating is a great way to spend time with your loved one and even with your family members. The Robson Square Ice Rink is open to tourists during the winter months. It is covered by steel and glass dome to cater to visitors even if it is raining. The ice rink floor can transform into a dance floor and multi-purpose venue during summer.

3. Great Bear Rainforest

You can find the Great Bear Rainforest along the central and northern coasts of British Columbia. It is the home of the Spirit Bear or Kermode, a black bear with an all-white fur. Spending your vacation in this place with your partner while embracing the rainforest feels is undoubtedly an excellent way to lose track of time.

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4. Okanagan Valley

Okanagan is also called the wine region, and it is also a brilliant place for a Canadian break. Soft sandy beaches surround the sparkling lakes, rows of vines, and hills with hues of green, red, yellow, and orange. Aside from the brilliant views and scenery, couples can also spend their time on Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa, a remote luxury accommodation. Hotel rooms provide floor-to-ceiling vast windows and bathtubs overlooking scenic views.

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5. Whistler And Blackcomb Mountains

It is the center of all winter sports in Canada. Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains garnered attention in 2010 when it hosted the ski event for the Winter Olympic Games. But it is not only associated with skiing, but tourists and visitors can also spend their time biking, golfing, and marveling at plenty of beautiful spots.

Tips For Your Vancouver Trip

  • Prepare your passport and any identification cards.
  • Know when is the best time to visit.
  • Prepare mostly activewear since Vancouver is an outdoorsy place.
  • Check the place’s transit system for schedules and routes.
  • Prepare an itinerary.
  • Canadian dollars are the currency, but US dollars are also accepted.
  • Find excellent deals for your hotel stay.
  • Bring a map or compass.
  • Always be respectful to locals in any spots you are about to visit.

Whether you’re traveling with your partner or family members, you may use these tips and check out the places above for a one-of-a-kind vacation.

A Quick Guide On Vacationing In British Columbia Alone

Have you ever thought of going somewhere to relieve your stress and worries? One place you might want to visit is British Columbia.

This beautiful province lies in Canada’s westernmost region. The area is home to incredible sights such as deep forests, high mountains, and spellbinding coastlines. Even if you’re alone, you won’t run out of things to do in British Columbia.

Famous Sites To Visit

British Columbia is a nature lover’s paradise. Here, you’ll see all sorts of mesmerizing natural land and water forms. Listed below are four famous spots to visit:

1. Yoho National Park

This national park is a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site. It is home to incredible waterfalls and massive glaciers. If you’re a fan of hiking, this may be the destination for you.

This site is open all year round and accessible from Calgary International Airport. If you’re a photographer looking to capture scenic views, you’re in the right spot. Here, you’ll find all sorts of snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. One particular sight you must see in the area is the Takakkaw Falls, which is one of the highest falls in North America.

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2. Vancouver Island

The next destination on the list is Vancouver Island. It is home not only to some of the beautiful forests and mountains but also to diverse wildlife. Located just around Canada’s Pacific coast, the island is about 500 kilometers long and 100 kilometers wide.

Some of the most notable activities you can do here is going for a walk or swim at Sooke Potholes provincial park. You can also visit the Sheringham Point Lighthouse if you want to gaze upon the beautiful seas. If you’re out for an adventure, go and explore Victoria Old Town.

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3. Butchart Gardens

Near Victoria is one of the most famous gardens in the world, Butchart Gardens. This 55-acre (22 hectares) property is home to 900 bedding plant varieties and 26 greenhouses. Depending on the season you arrive here, you can expect different hues that portray summer, winter, spring, and autumn.

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4. Whistler

If you live for sports, you might want to visit Whistler, which is known for winter sports such as snowboarding, mountain biking, and golf. However, if you’re going to chill, they also have some of the best skiing resorts in the world.

You can expect to take home a lot of souvenirs as well since it’s home to several restaurants and several shops. One sight you wouldn’t want to miss is the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which will give you a bird’s eye view of the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Traveling Tips And Tricks

You now have an idea of a place you wish to visit in British Columbia. To help you out on your journey, here are five tips you can keep in mind for your solo travel.

  • Prepare yourself for your trip by reading about your destination. You may discover places you might want to visit for yourself that aren’t in any must-see lists.
  • If you plan on meeting people, book a hotel with a pool or dining area. These may serve as an excellent venue to chat and keep up with them.
  • Ask your receptionist to mark your hotel on a map. Have this map with you in case of emergencies such as language barriers.
  • Leave essential belongings at your hotel. Exploring at night is still dangerous no matter where you are.
  • Go out and enjoy your own company. You might discover yourself more this way.

Have fun and enjoy your trip!

Adventure Awaits: Exploring North Central British Columbia 

For some, traveling can be an escape to get ahold of their lives. Through traveling, you get to reflect and be at peace. Did you know that British Columbia’s one of the largest, westerly provinces? With its enormous size, comes great adventures! 

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Continue reading Adventure Awaits: Exploring North Central British Columbia 

Fun Day Itinerary For Your North Central British Columbia Trip 

Planning for your trip to North Central British Columbia? If this is your first time to go in the area, worry no more because we got you covered. North Central British Columbia has plenty of destinations to offer its guests. 

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Continue reading Fun Day Itinerary For Your North Central British Columbia Trip