How often would you say you are thinking about your upcoming vacation throughout the year? When was the last time you actually planned and went on a real vacation and completely cut off any work thoughts and worries? Having too many things to do is no real excuse to keep postponing that vacation. Your brain needs it just as much as your sore back does.
Nonstop Work Can Be Overwhelming – YES!
Working 60 hours per week or more is exceptionally demanding and strenuous at any age. Studies show the average American employee takes around 50 percent of their allotted vacation time. This lead to them feeling overworked and overwhelmed by everything else going on in their life simply because they do not have the time, the energy and the mood to handle it all.
Here are some more depressing facts:
- More than half of the employees who are lucky enough to go on vacation tend to pick up their laptop or smartphone and so some work.
- Twenty-five percent of them receive a call or an email from a coworker during their time off.
- Twenty percent of vacationers receive at least one phone call from their supervisors concerning a work matter.
Considering these facts, not much of a vacation, is it?
If you feel like you desperately need a vacation, you should know what science considers to be the right way to take one. Your needs should become your priority as you will need to focus on your physical and psychological well-being. It’s the only way to go if you genuinely wish to come back with fresh batteries and become more productive at work. If you are not fully convinced you need a vacation, here are some scientific facts that should help you make up your mind.
1. Going On A Vacation Helps You Feel Less Stressed
The American Psychological Association completed an exciting study according to which vacations are great at cutting stress since they remove employees from their stressful work environments. Vacations are therefore good at alleviating the anxiety associated with the workplace and the stress-reducing effects seem to last way beyond the end of the vacation.
A different study by researchers at the University of Vienna discovered that people who take some time off and go on vacation are complaining about fewer backaches, headaches and heart problems five weeks after returning from their vacation. Pack your bags, book a flight, find a safe and comfortable hotel or hostel.
2. Daily Mini-Breaks For Long Term Health
IF you can’t go on a vacation, you can create the same stress-free environment at home. As a matter of fact, you should try to find ways to do some “mini-vacations” or create some daily “time-out” zones or activities within your everyday life to make sure you keep stress out of your life. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it is something that makes you relax. Grab your smartphone or tablet packed with your favourite games. Whether you are a fan of free slots games (any of these will do the trick), online puzzles or prefer to listen to audiobooks, as long as it relaxes you and it has nothing to do with your job, it should be good to go. Pack that novel you never got to finish or just chill on a sunny beach somewhere warm and listen to the sound of the waves. You’ll come back completely rejuvenated and you will thank yourself for it.
3. Vacations Prevent Heart Disease
If you are a male and you haven’t been on vacation in the past five years, you are 30 percent more at risk to develop cardiovascular disease than a coworker who went on a brief one week vacation each year. Missing even one vacation a year is associated with a higher risk of heart disease (!).
Women are also eight times more likely to suffer from a heart condition provided they haven’t taken a vacation in the last six years compared to women who went on two separate vacations a year. It’s, therefore, of tremendous help and importance to be able to take the time to go on a vacation.
4. Improve Your Sleep By Taking Some Time Off
Chronic stress and work-induced anxiety are often times related to sleep problems like insomnia and sleep apnea. A lack of quality sleep at night eventually leads to issues in our focus, memory and work productivity. It also increases the risk of accidents and it lowers the quality of our life in general. Going on vacation at least once a year can help us enjoy better sleep at night as we will disrupt the late working habits that are usually part of our lives.
A well-rested brain means achieving higher levels of productivity at work, so vacations should be embraced by employees and accepted by employers more often as they are win-win. If your boss is hard to convince – just make him read this article, and he will send you off packing!