Seven Benefits of Taking Vacation Time

126524857Do you plan to use all of your available vacation time in 2016? If you are like most Americans, your answer is probably ‘no.’

A study commissioned by the travel site Hotwire found the average American left 9.2 days of paid vacation time unused in 2012. More recently, a 2014 survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association revealed that four out of 10 American workers had no intention of using their full allotment of vacation days in that year, mainly because they were worried about the amount of work that would pile up during their absence.

If you intend to stay on the job this year instead of staying in the mountains, on the beach or at a beautiful villa in a fabulous tourist destination, you may not realize what you’ll be missing. People undersell the value of a vacation and pay the consequences for it in a number of ways.

The benefits of taking vacations are many and varied, and if you pass on your chance to get away for a while you may be sacrificing your health, your sanity, your family and even your effectiveness in the workplace as a result.

We don’t say this to scare you, but just to let you know that vacations are about more than fun and games.

Without further ado, here are seven important benefits associated with vacations:

#1 Improved Physical Health

Vacations are like a safety-valve for stress. Research shows taking regular vacations can actually reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

#2 Closer Family Relationships

Vacations are one of the few activities that all family members can enjoy, regardless of age or interests. Families on vacation make memories that can last a lifetime, strengthening the bonds that connect them in the process.

#3 Greater Productivity on the Job

Repetitive work endlessly performed saps energy and motivation. Vacations break this cycle, and those who return from vacation do so refreshed and recharged and ready to take on the world.

#4 Boosted Mental Performance

Brains need rest and replenishment just like every other organ of the body. When they get it they thrive—and what’s good for your brain is doubly good for you.

#5 Reduced Likelihood of Burnout

We tend to blame our jobs for burnout, but our fingers are pointed in the wrong direction. Our jobs will only overwhelm us if we let them, and vacations are one of the best defenses we have against this self-afflicted condition.

#6 Improved Mental Health

When we have no escape from our daily routines stress, tension and anxiety may build up until our emotional dams finally burst. Conditions like depression, phobias and anxiety disorders can be the result, but fortunately taking regular vacations will reduce the chances of such a breakdown ever occurring.

#7 Brand New Perspectives

Regular vacationers often report returning to work with a renewed ability to see old problems from new angles. Fresh, creative solutions flow like a river, they say, and grateful bosses frequently reward them with raises and promotions.

Your Job is an Oyster but Your Vacation is its Pearl

A vacation is neither a luxury nor a privilege. It is a necessity and a human right, and if you refuse to exercise that right you will pay a price for it in the end.

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