If you are a part of a huge number of people who refuse to take their full vacation, you might just be missing out on a lot of benefits. While global tourism numbers seem to be getting better, a significant percentage of people still don’t take their full vacations.
In this post, we’ll be explaining why a regular vacation is good for your health and why you shouldn’t skip any part of yours.
1. A vacation is good for your heart
According to research at Syracuse University, people who take vacations have a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a disease that increases the chances of developing cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke.
This implies that when you take more vacation days, there is a lower chance that you’ll suffer from a heart attack or other related cardiovascular conditions.
2. It lowers your stress level
This is probably the most direct impact that a vacation will have on your health. When you are away from work and have little or nothing to do except to do fun things that interest you, you tend to relax better. This lowers the production of stress-related hormones like cortisol.
Refusing to take your full vacation days can cause you to feel burned out quickly. In fact, an Austrian study showed that a single short vacation has large positive effects on perceived stress, recovery, strain, and well-being.
3. You can reset your sleep schedule
Many people suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, and for a lot of them, their jobs might be playing a big role. If you don’t have a good sleep pattern, a vacation gives you the opportunity to reset your current sleep schedule to a more healthy one.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal body and brain function. If you struggled to get a decent amount of sleep each night, a vacation can reset your sleep-wake cycle. To achieve this, try to go to bed and wake up at a set time, ensure your room is dark enough, and avoid the use of your mobile device just before bedtime.
4. You refresh your mind
That feeling of having your mind choked up with many tasks, duties, and responsibilities can be relieved by taking a break. A vacation gives you this opportunity to ‘clear your head’ of work-related stuff and fill it with fun things and awesome memories.
When you return back to work, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to take on the responsibilities that come with your job.
5. You can become fitter
When on a vacation, you tend to have more time to be deliberate about things like exercise. It’s the best time to start that 15-minute morning exercise routine you always hoped to commence. The good news is that when you eventually start, it won’t be hard for you to continue this newly developed routine when you return back to work.
The benefits of exercise cannot be over-emphasized. You stand to improve your weight, cardiovascular health and prevent many diseases.
6. You become happier
Imagine you just were just gifted a ticket to Paris for a vacation with your friends or family. How will your reaction be? Will you be indifferent or extremely excited and full of joy. The latter is most likely. People on vacation are known to be happy, in fact, the major boost of happiness comes when planning the trip. You are also more likely to be happier when you take several short trips a year than one long one.
7. It helps to improve your relationships
When you are on a break from work, you’ll have more time to relate with your friends and family. You’ll be more prone to calling friends you haven’t heard from in a long time. This helps to improve your relationships with people and may give you more favors in the long run.
For many parents who work 9-5 jobs, a vacation gives more time to catch up on how their children are faring help with family bonding.
8. It gives you a better view of life
Perspective matters a lot in life. When you feel stuck in your cubicle at the office, you may only see life from the lenses of work and achieving set goals. A vacation relaxes your mind and gives you a more rounded view of situations and circumstances.
9. You can experience new places and cultures
If you choose to travel to a new country or city during your vacation, you’ll notice and better appreciate the diversity on earth. You’ll have the opportunity of visiting places on your bucket list, carry out some adventure and meet new people.
One easy way to erase preconceived notions about different people and countries is to pack your bags and go there. You’ll realize that you can’t judge an entire country based on what you hear about it from traditional media.
10. It rearranges your priorities
When you take a vacation, you’re able to look at your priorities from a ‘bird’s eye’ and rearrange them with a clear mind. You’ll learn that relationships matter a lot and life isn’t just about work and achieving goals. You’ll also learn that there are so many good things about life and it doesn’t start and end in your office cubicle.
11. You can become a better person
Traveling for a vacation can increase your empathy, make you understand the world better and make you more creative.
These factors can go a long way in improving how you treat people and yourself. It makes you more aware of what others are going through and gives you some time to think about how to take care of yourself and others better.
12. You can lead a healthier, longer life
Generally, since a vacation can reduce your stress levels, prevent cardiovascular problems and make you more active, it can help you lead a healthier life. In fact, a 40-year University of Helsinki study that followed about 1200 men revealed that taking vacations may add years to your life.
13. You become more productive
Look at vacation as a period to get some recharge and get re-energized. Taking a break from work can make you return with more creative ideas and places you in a better position to cope with challenges at work. You will become more productive and achieve more than if you didn’t take your off days.
14. You are more likely to get a raise at work
According to Project Time Off, people who take a vacation are more likely to get a promotion or a raise. According to the study, 84% of people who took their full vacation got a raise, compare this with 78% of people who forfeited some of their vacation days.
15. It improves mental health
Taking a break from work definitely boosts your mental health. For instance, if you’re not a great fan of your job or boss, going on vacation gives you the opportunity to reboot your mind.
The fact that a holiday gives you the space to think of other things apart from work and build better relationships with people is enough to improve the state of your mental health.
16. You have the opportunity to change bad habits
If you are stuck in a routine of bad habits like late dinner, little or no exercise, drinking a lot of alcohol or smoking cigarettes, a vacation can give you the space to rethink these habits and decide to effect a change.
When you return back to your base, your mind will feel refreshed and you can get the mental energy to make the important decision of dropping these bad habits in order to live a healthier life.
17. It helps the economy
It’s very likely that before you decide to embark on a trip during your vacation, you likely saved up some money. This means that your vacation is a period in the year when you don’t mind spending your money on things you find interesting. The money you spend goes on to improve the economy of the city or country you chose to vacation in.
Some countries like Seychelles are heavily reliant on foreign visitors that the tourism industry employs about 30% of the workforce. Taking a trip to a country like that makes it possible for many people to have a source of livelihood.