Who has time for a vacation?

A change in the weather is like a vacation from everyday life.

The unprecedented sunshine and record-high temperatures that hit the city that memorable Friday in April made people forget – even if just for a few minutes – their responsibilities and pressures. People took long lunches, went for walks, hit the beach.

David Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada, overheard the feeling summed up in one simple phrase: “It’s good to be alive.”

“One of the spices of life is the change in the weather – it reinvigorates us,” says Phillips. “Change is good for the soul. It’s like recharging the batteries it’s good for the mind.”

“People were in a good mood, there was no road rage, they were polite. People forgot their problems.”

If that’s what a small change like a few days of early summer can do for people, imagine the impact of a real vacation.

Vacations have a positive influence on every aspect of society. Research shows time off is good for an individual’s health, a company’s bottom line and a nation’s productivity, but for many North Americans life is about work, and vacations are viewed as a dirty little habit.

Think about it. When’s the last time you had a real vacation? A break that extended beyond a week?

If the answer eludes you, you’re not alone. One third of Canadians between 25 and 44 define themselves as workaholics, according to Statistics Canada.

Many Canadians cash in their vacation, bank it, or take it in one- or two-day spurts. They don’t see the value of taking a couple of weeks off if they’re going to return to a huge backlog of work.

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