WHY YOU NEED A VACATION FROM WORK
Many of us have vacation time to use, but either no funds to take an actual vacation or the majority of time has had to bused used as additional sick/personal time. This is often what would happen when my kids were younger.
Forbes published an article earlier this year with results of a poll taken by Glassdoor and Harris Interactive of 2,300 workers. The results showed that 75% of them do not use all of their paid vacation time. When they do use the time, 61% work while on vacation. What?! It’s PAID time away from work – use it!
Taking a break or vacation from work for any amount of time, even just a “staycation,” is vital to your health. See my recent post here about my favorite vacation. Let me explain why you need a vacation from work.
Positive Mental Health and Stress Reduction
For me, one of the best boosts in mood and mental health comes from planning the vacation or even a long weekend away. I need to have something to look forward to. Having a date on the calendar and planning out the details is exciting and creates happiness.
Taking a break in your usual routine helps reduce stress. After only a day or two on vacation, the stress hormone epinephrine is reduced. Anxiety is alleviated, as you are removed from the environment and activities associated with stress and anxiety. On vacation, people begin to sleep better, feel better and experience a lifted mood.
Improved Heart and Physical Health
Chronic stress takes its toll on your body and heart health. While vacationing, blood pressure and heart function come back to normal levels. In fact, taking vacations is linked to a decrease in heart disease and heart attacks according to the most recent Framingham Heart Study.
In addition, going on vacations can actually help in illness prevention. Stress can change the immune system. This alteration may make people more susceptible to illnesses, such as the common cold, flu, and even irritable bowel syndrome. Studies have shown that people who go on regular vacations report being and feeling healthier.
Taking a vacation together is very beneficial to your relationship. Spending time together without all the regular stresses of everyday life can restore the relationship’s romantic connection. There is plenty of time to have conversations, have fun and make meaningful memories together through shared experiences.
Additionally, vacationing together as a family can strengthen your family bond. The quality of time spent with your children on vacation creates an atmosphere of open communication. I’ve learned so much more about my kids and what’s going on in their lives, as well as their opinions and feelings about different subjects, on vacation than any other time.
Increased Work Productivity
Although you may think the opposite would occur, studies have shown that more vacation time given to workers actually results in increased productivity and a reduction of sick days taken off. Returning to work feeling refreshed after a vacation can help you sort through life’s challenges. You will return with a fresh prospective and a new vision.
Being in a new location with different people, activities and food can boost your creative thinking. In a more relaxed environment, your mind can return to a more child-like state and open up a sense of wonderment and curiosity. Leisurely activities in general have been linked to an overall sense of well-being.
So go ahead, use that vacation time and relax. It’s worth it in so many ways.