The Importance of Vacations
It’s June, the kids are out of school, the sun is shining brightly on warm weather days, and you are dreaming of a vacation! As you sit at your desk, looking at the mounds of work, you realize that you just don’t have time for a luxury like “vacation”. But, maybe that’s not true? Maybe staying behind the mound of work is actually doing more harm, than a week at the beach, or some other destination, could do?
Our nation of workaholics is experiencing a heavy load of burnout, and emotional and physical illness. When we don’t afford ourselves time to de-stress, un-plug, and get away; we run ourselves into the ground. This results in chronic stress, which is the driver of many diseases – insomnia, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Burnout, in turn, leads to loss in productivity and creativity; and if your productivity declines, you may be passed over for promotions, raises, or could even lose your job.
It is imperative that we allow ourselves the opportunity to disconnect in order to recharge our batteries. After all, when we are running at full speed on charged batteries, we are a much more productive workforce than when we are stressed and drained.
In the article “The Importance of Vacations, for Stress Relief, Productivity and Health,” Elizabeth Scott, M.S., addresses the value vacations can bring. Her seven reasons are as follows:
- Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves; operating as a vehicle for self-discovery, and helping us get back to feeling our best.
- Vacations Stave Off Burn Out: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
- Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to “recharge your batteries”, thereby keeping stress levels lower, can keep you healthier.
- Vacations Promote Overall Wellbeing: One study found that three days after a vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacations.
- Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong, helping you enjoy the good times more and helping you through the stress of hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
- Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to increased quality of life, which can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
- Vacations Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways: It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later! That means that vacations are the gift to yourself that keep on giving.
So, go ahead and plan that vacation and take it! You and your company will be glad you did!