Benefits of Taking Vacations
Whether it’s helping you to increase your Vitamin D intake, decreasing your stress levels or giving you uninterrupted time to spend with loved ones; the benefits of vacations are endless. This article will highlight just how important taking time off is to one’s health and quality of life. Vacations are truly a necessity, not a luxury – so don’t feel guilty taking some R&R time for yourself – both you and your job will reap the benefits.
Break the Stress Cycle
Stress affects our bodies’ ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, sleep soundly and digest food. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, initially rev you up, but if your inner alarm system is constantly on, it’s bound to wear you out. Chronic stress ultimately saps your body of energy and reduces your ability to cope with real or perceived stressors or dangers. Vacations take away our daily stressors and remind us what’s important.
Support Health and Wellness
Studies show that vacations improve our mental and physical health. A couple statistics:
A State University of New York Survey found that men who took annual vacations reduced their risk of death by 20%.
Men who didn’t take any vacations in five years had the highest death rate and incident of heart disease than any other men surveyed.
Women who have vacationed only once in 6 years or less are more likely to develop coronary disease.
Research scientists at Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin report rate of depression increased as vacation frequency decreased.
Increase Energy and Motivation
At the very least vacations serve as the perfect excuse to get caught up on our sleep. We come back to our day to day lives feeling refreshed and ready to work towards our next trip.
Dose up on Vitamin D
Numerous studies have linked inadequate Vitamin D dosage to everything from fighting off illness and depression to weight loss. Sunlight sends the signal to your brain to release serotonin, a naturally occurring feel-good chemical that makes you feel happier and more alert. Unfortunately, desk jobs and the use of unnatural light can mess with our circadian rhythms and the regulation of crucial alertness chemicals in our bodies. A sunny vacation during the winter months can help to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.
Strengthens Relationships with Family and Loved Ones
Our hectic schedules don’t always allow us to spend the quality time we crave with our loved ones. A vacation gives us the opportunity to give our child, spouse or friend our full attention.
Broadens our Horizons
Even if you’re not traveling to a foreign country, vacations take us away from our accustomed lifestyles and help us relate to different places and people. Plus it makes us sound more interesting to our friends.
It’s easy to fall into a rut: being exposed to the same old things day in and day out. Activities like lying on a beach or hiking through a forest can clear our minds and bring about new ideas.
Reduces the Likelihood of Burnout
Even those of us who actually love our jobs can feel burnt out if we don’t take enough time off. Vacations help us appreciate our work and give us an incentive to keep trucking on.
Improves Job Performance
The United States on average allows less vacation than most other countries, yet many of us are still reluctant to use those limited days. Workers who forgo vacations aren’t doing their companies any favors. Even if you’re physically present, mentally you may have checked out.
Vacations are Good for Businesses too!
From a corporate perspective, investment in good vacation programs reduces workplace stress absenteeism, health care costs, and accidents.
Vacations have been shown to eliminate burnout.
The travel industry adds $740 billion dollars a year to the US economy
Stress and burnout at work cost the US economy over $300 billion a year.
Companies that have adopted the vacation benefits have dramatically increased productivity and profits.
Paid vacations, after health care, are the benefits most appreciated by workers
A New Zealand study found that workers sleep better after taking vacations and are 30-40% more alert on the job when they return.