For years now, the popular travel website Expedia conducts an international survey of people’s vacation habits. Information gathered from last year’s survey indicates that 80 to 90% of respondents report that vacations made them “feel happier, better rested, closer to the family, less stressed, and more relaxed.” Yet, almost as a rule, Americans don’t take a vacation.
The number of Americans who take regular vacations is declining. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 9 million people took a vacation in 1976, while in 2014, this number had plunged to 7 million. In another survey, only 39% of those responding said they would go away on holiday over the next half year. Studies reveal that millions of Americans leave vacation days unused every year, and feel guilty about taking downtime, frequent checking their email while away.
But really, should you just stay home, relax in front of the television, read a novel, do a few day trips? Well, vacations are not simply a luxury. There is increasing evidence that they really are necessary for good health. Here are five good reasons why you need to give yourself vacation:
Vacations help you avoid burnout
By getting away, you will actually helped from letting your enthusiasm about your job wane. Employees who make a point of taking regular time off work to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested colleagues. Moreover, taking a break for a day or more will help give you perspective on your work/life balance.
Vacations help to improve your health
There is real evidence that vacations are important to your physical health. A recent report by The New York Times maintains that those who take less than one vacation every two years are more likely to suffer from depression and burnout. Moreover, those who fail to take annual vacations have a 21% higher risk of death and were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. For both men and women, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
Vacations help to bring families closer
Relationship experts affirm that one of the biggest benefits of taking a vacation is how it affects family relationships. Family vacations increase bonding, especially when lots of the shared experiences have to do with making memories. Time spent together away from ordinary everyday activities helps to promote positive ties. Family vacations can have their own share of stress, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
Vacations make you more productivity
When you take time away to unwind from your everyday stresses, you'll return to your job with more confidence and ready to face your work-related challenges with a clearer, cooler head. Also, employees are likely to put more emphasis on the work they have to make up. Research of human physiology demonstrates that human weren’t designed to expend energy continuously, but are meant to alternate between using and recovering energy.
Vacations improve your mental health
Psychologists attest to the value of vacations for mental health. Most people return to work with better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24 hour time out. Feelings of calm arise and relieve the stress, which allow the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
Ready for a change of scenery? Giving yourself some time away from your job and every day life is an important element of what it means to practice self-care, leading you toward greater happiness, health and success in the workplace and beyond!