Live longer, reduce stress; take a quick and easy vacation

WINNIPEG — People only seem to get to the local sights when relatives or friends come to visit.

Yet, everyone needs to take time off and be with their families and enjoy new places, said home economist Marilyn Zarecki.

She told a workshop at the recent Manitoba Women’s Institute annual meeting that if time or money are problems, people should try “suitcaseless” vacations. This means taking trips to museums, events or facilities a couple of hours drive from home, then enjoy the day and get home in the evening.

Zarecki found plenty to see by taking a map of Manitoba and using a string that was the equivalent of 160 kilometres from her farm home, drawing a circle and visiting whatever was inside.

Farmers tend not to take vacations because they think the farm and the animals need them, said Zarecki. Men are especially prone to feeling guilty or worried about what’s happening at home. They need to hear that a vacation is a time to relax with one’s family, to listen to each other’s interests and to allow others to take over tasks at home, she said.

Strengthen family ties

Other good reasons for taking time off are: People live longer and are in better health from reduced stress; they do a better job when returning to work enthused; parents get closer to their children; spouses can maintain their closeness; and it will help prepare for leisure time to come, with men living to an average age of 78 and women to 81.

Places to visit with children don’t have to be exotic and could be local, such as an airport, vet clinic, RCMP office or bakery, said Zarecki. Also popular are activities like horseback riding, picnicking, fishing, cycling and hiking in parks.

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