Professional Psychological Counselor Dr. Reuben Brock says you should not underestimate the importance of a vacation, or staycation.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We are knocking on the door of the Fourth of July holiday and the vacation season is in full swing. So will you be detaching, getting away?

Professional Psychological Counselor Dr. Reuben Brock says you should not underestimate the importance of a vacation, or staycation.

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“It’s really about kind of getting a break from your stress,” says Dr. Brock. “Reducing stress increases all kinds of health benefits so it’s absolutely important to vacation take a break.”

The downside of not taking a break, “Your body is not equipped to stay in that state of stress for a very long period of time when you do you actually increase the risk of things like heart disease, high blood pressure even cancer.”

So we all need a break but Dr. Brock says you have to be careful what you choose to do. “You go on vacation. And because you’re on vacation, it’s a new place, you end up, attempting to fit in every activity that’s known in that area you end up with an itinerary, and then after a week on vacation you need or you need a vacation from vacation because you’re so tired. That is replacing one kind of stress with another, and won’t give you the real benefits that that I’m talking about.”

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Dr. Brock says a vacation is a disconnection, “Get some true downtime and relax you know sit on a beach read a book or sit in your backyard and read a book.” That’s right he says a staycation can work, “But you really want to make sure that staycation is heavy on vacation part you know so, so you don’t want to say this is a week where I’m gonna stop doing work related tasks and do household related tasks. You know it’s trading one for the other, it’s not going to help all that much. It’s really about getting time away from the daily stressors that can just build up over time.”

And he points out the need to disconnect electronically. “You have to prioritize your own health and and say you know what those messages will be there when I get there, or at the very least, you know, set some parameters where you say, you know, after five o’clock I will not check my phone or something along those lines. You really want to set a boundary because those work related messages will always continue to come as long as you tend to them.”

While every person’s happy place is different Dr. Brock says, “You really want to know yourself and know what brings you down to, kind of that state of calm and go for that.”

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If you can make that a place of nature you may find a special kind of calm. “Sometimes it’s the hearing the sounds of the waves or the you know water trickling through a stream that sort of stuff just seems to be naturally soothing to many of us, and it. Same thing with music, there are certain things that just seem to have this effect on us and we really want to lean into that.”