7 Reasons Why You Should Take A Vacation ASAP
When your mind wanders at work, where does it go? Is it a sandy beach in Tahiti, a leafy hiking trail in the Appalachians or a cobblestone street that winds up a mountain on the Italian coast? You shouldn’t let your dreams of vacationing remain visions in your head. It turns out that a vacation does more than give you a golden glow and an enviable slew of Instagrams: The break from reality renews you in more ways than one. We’ve put together a list of seven benefits that prove it. So, go ahead: Take advantage of that PTO and get out of town. It’s time to take a vacation! 🙂
1. It Fights Depression — Especially If You’re a Woman
A vacation pulls you away from the daily grind and allows you to relax. Do you know just how reparative that is for your body? It turns out that it worked wonders on patients at the University of Pittsburgh. While performing studies on cancer or cardiovascular disease, researchers found that patients became less depressed when they took time for leisure activities, a broad category that included vacations. Another study further corroborated the anti-depression notion, though it focused mainly on women. It found that women who vacationed less than once a year experienced higher levels of depression and stress.
2. It Boosts Productivity Upon Your Return
…Because, obviously, you aren’t going to do any work while you’re relaxing. A slew of employers reported to the U.S. Travel Association that their staff came back from vacation in a completely different state of mind — one that allowed them to work harder and more creatively than they did before they shipped out. Employees also tend to be happier and stick around at a workplace longer when vacation is available and taken advantage of, so don’t let your time off slip through your fingertips.
3. It Lowers Your Chances of Having a Heart Attack
This probably comes as less of a surprise now that we know how much a vacation can fight stress, but by skipping on your vacation time, you’re putting yourself at a greater risk of having a heart attack. One study followed 13,000 middle-aged men who were already at risk for heart disease. Those who didn’t take advantage of their vacation time were more than 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who stepped away for a week each year.
Women’s tickers reacted similarly: Those who took a vacation once every six years or less were just about eight times more likely to have a heart attack than those who jetted off two times each year. Clearly, it’s time to heart vacation more than you ever have before.
4. It Boosts Your Bonds With Others
Unless you go it alone, your vacation will afford you the opportunity to get close with loved ones and friends once again. The roster of activities you’ve planned at an amusement park or the stops along the way of your cross-country road trip will only serve to create memories, as well as opportunities to talk and laugh. Even stressful moments will bring you together — you might just remember them with a laugh one day, too.
5. It Recharges Your Brain’s Power
Research has found that your brain won’t recharge its energy reserves on its own. And all that time you spend working extra hours on extra projects isn’t making your brain sharper, either. It turns out that your brain needs breaks to restore its energy reserves. One great way to do so is by taking your entire self on a vacation. Restock your brain’s energy reserves and work better than ever.
6. It Extinguishes Burnout
Working ‘round the clock doesn’t prove how much you love what you do. In fact, a non-stop work schedule can cause you to feel burned out about your job and your responsibilities. Take a step away to give yourself a break from the pressure, stress and discouragement that you might feel at times. By letting these feelings regularly affect you, there’s no doubt that the passion you have for your work will disappear. Studies show that those who take advantage of their vacation days don’t experience burnout as frequently as those who work year-round, so request your PTO now.
7. It Gives You Better Perspective
Finally, getting away from your problems gives you a new perspective on them when you return. Think of it this way: Bringing a problem to a friend often results in a completely different way of fixing it than what you initially came up with. That’s because your friend is able to look at things through a different lens and from a completely new vantage point. Leaving town will have the same effect on you and your issues. You might just realize that they’re not so big, unlike the world around you. So get out there and explore it.