We work all year round in anticipation of that annual vacation. If we actually go somewhere else, we can spend hours upon hours planning the vacation, hours upon hours discussing the upcoming vacation, and thousands of dollars paying for it all. Have you ever asked yourself why we do this?
Even if we don’t think about it too often, our bodies and our subconscious recognize that vacations are extremely beneficial to us. They help reduce stress and keep us healthier. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s not uncommon for many people to skip their annual vacation, take work with them on vacation or cut it short to deal with work or home issues. However, that’s really shortchanging our own health and here’s why:
- Vacations give us a break from chronic stress. Today’s world is very stressful. We’re being bombarded with financial stressors, work stressors and family stressors. Time away from all of that helps to reduce that stress and bring us back into a healthy mental focus.
- Studies show that vacations can increase creativity by helping us become more self-aware and confident in our abilities. In fact, those who regularly use their vacation time are often quicker thinkers and better problem solvers.
- Both relieving stress and increasing creativity can help back at work as well! Employees that return from a great vacation often perform more productively and are more energetic doing their work.
- Families that vacation together are often happier together! Family bonding is one of the items that often gets dropped to a lower priority when life gets hectic. Vacation time can become bonding time for those who just need to reconnect with each other in a positive way. Families that vacation together create shared, fun memories that can be remembered all year long.
- Those who take annual vacations are often healthier. According to National Geographic, one annual holiday can reduce heart attack risk by 30% in men and 50% in women! That’s one statistic that should not be ignored.
- One last benefit is that most employees don’t really get life satisfaction from the work they do. Even if you enjoy your work and like what you do, that doesn’t really translate to a life satisfaction level. However, leisure and personal fun activities do contribute to life satisfaction. Taking that vacation makes you more satisfied with your life overall, which leads to increased happiness and decreased levels of depression.
If you’re like the majority of Americans, getting that annual vacation is becoming harder and harder to take. And taking a trip somewhere far away may be financially prohibitive. However, you don’t need to take a thousand-dollar vacation to a location far, far away to get the benefits from just taking that break.
If you really can’t go anywhere, take your days off and stay home. However, you must resolve to do something relaxing and fun. You can stay in your pajamas and watch movies all day. You can spend time at a day spa. You can check out local tourist attractions or do something simple like go camping or check out the local state park.
When it comes time to scheduling your vacation this year, make it a priority to make it a good one!