February 20, 2019 ☀️🌴⠀
A number of studies have shown that people who take vacations have lower stress levels, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. Here’s some of the additional benefits to taking some time off of work:
- Improved physical health: Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
- Improved mental health: Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
- Greater well-being: According to a Gallup study, people who “always make time for regular trips” had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, 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 vacation.
- Increased mental power: Upon returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.
- Decreased burnout: 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.
- Planning alone boosts happiness: Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!
Give yourself that break you need to return to your life refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes!