Vacation Days: The Benefits Of Taking A Vacation Per Year
Since my partner and I first met, we’ve dreamed of vacationing in Italy. We’re both drawn to the cultural, artistic, and culinary adventures that await overseas. However, we ended up continually putting off our trip over the years. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence nowadays. Studies show that Americans take almost a week fewer vacation days than they did just fifteen years ago.
54% of Americans who have earned paid vacation days don’t even use them! Unfortunately, this is partially due to the fact that America is the only developed nation in the world that does not have a number of mandated vacation days for employees so be sure to plan your holidays yourself. Here are a bunch of reasons why you have got to go on vacay, girl:
The Benefits Of Your Vacation Days
In a 20-year study, researchers discovered that women who only take vacations once every six years are almost eight times more likely to experience heart disease or have a heart attack than women who enjoy two vacations a year. Women who take frequent vacations also enjoy lower blood pressure.
Women who take time off tend to experience blissful mental and emotional benefits. As soon as a vacation is planned, happiness surges dramatically. The University of Surrey discovered that a planned holiday in the future results in boosted positivity regarding personal finances, health, and quality of life. All of this happens before you even take off for your vacation!
The vast majority of people who take time off experience a decrease of tension and an increase in both energy levels and life satisfaction. Women experience less depression and higher positive emotional levels when they treat themselves to time away from the daily grind. Immersing yourself in a new culture out of your comfort zone has also been proven to enhance your creativity and challenges your adaptability levels, which improves your overall emotional stability.
Taking Vacation Days As A Form Of Stress Relief
Sometimes, you just need to get away from the humdrum repetition of everyday life. A temporary escape from stress-inducing responsibilities, jobs, and duties can do wonders. Visiting a new country offers novelty in the form of new experiences, sights, peoples, cuisines, and sometimes languages. Vacations have the significant ability to allow the mind and the body to reset, which results in significant stress relief.
The concerning decline in American vacation time illustrates the intensity of our productivity culture. Does the lack of vacation actually result in increased productivity, though? Studies and experts say no. Many busy women juggling careers, marriages, and motherhood believe that their work will suffer with them gone, but nothing could be further from the truth. As long as you plan ahead, visit somewhere safe, and choose a holiday spot away from work, 94% of these vacations result in renewed energy and positivity when you return to work. Perhaps that’s the reason why people who take their vacation days are actually more likely to be given a raise or bonus than employees who refuse to go on holiday.
Once you’ve realized the work benefits that accompany some much-deserved time off, set aside time for planning like you would for any other project. If you plan early, you can organize your workload around the dates you’ll be gone, and you can delegate tasks in advance. Pencil in your vacation just like you would a dentist appointment or annual check-up. After all, it’s an important part of your health care.
Side note: If your colleagues take some vacation time, please don’t be one of the pesky people who bug them with work issues. According to Forbes, 25% of workers who utilize their paid vacation are contacted by a co-worker and 20% are contacted by their boss. Be considerate, and allow your colleagues to recharge their batteries in peace.
Vacation Enhanced Relationships
One five-year study illustrates that couples who take frequent vacations report much higher relationship satisfaction than those who don’t. One reason for this is that couples grow stronger while reaching compromises and planning the trip. Another reason is that a romantic holiday is a fantastic way to reignite the spark in a marriage since couples enjoy the closeness and a reminder of mutual interests.
Another study by Purdue University discovered that families who vacation together enjoy improved familial relations. Huffington Post reports that “families who vacation together undergo shared experience, communication, and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.”
This year, my partner and I have finally decided that we just cannot keep our dreams on hold any longer. Our flights to Rome are booked, and we can hardly wait for our first international vacation! Though we are so excited, my partner and I are, unfortunately, not among the lucky Americans who receive paid time off. If you are one of those blessed employees, do not allow another year to pass you by without taking your paid vaca days.
According to this article, “by giving up this time off, Americans are effectively volunteering hundreds of millions of days of free work for their employers, which results in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits.” Don’t work for free, honey. Grab your boo, your bestie, or your favorite book, and let the travel bug bite you.
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