If it has been a while since you have spent time away from the workplace, you may be overdue for a long vacation. Studies have proven that long vacations have physical, mental, and relationship benefits. If you stay for a few weeks or more, the benefits are even greater because the restorative process is deeper. Let’s see why an extended stay vacation may be just what the doctor ordered.
Mental Health Benefits
A significant number of workers in the United States do not take their allotted vacation time, with many of them citing a heavy workload as the reason. These workers may feel that they are getting ahead, but they may be sabotaging their own efforts and the productivity of the organization. Taking a break puts you in a different frame of mind and helps to relieve stress. Stress has a proven negative effect on productivity, regardless of whether your job is a physical or mental one. It also leads to burn out and low morale.
When you are stressed, it takes a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Stress lowers your resistance to infection, results in poor digestion, and can affect your sleep. If you are stressed and tired, you are more likely to have an accident. You also have a tendency to become depressed, anxious, irritable, have memory problems, and poor decision-making ability. Taking a vacation can help to relieve many of these negative effects. Even relieving them for a short time has been proven to have long term effects.
The body is designed to cope with short term stress, but it is not designed to stay in a stressed state of mind for long. In addition to putting you in a better mental state, a long vacation also has physical benefits as well. These include:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Higher energy levels
- Healthier skin
- Better sleep
- Lower cortisol levels
- Improved digestive health
- Reduced muscle tension
The physical symptoms of stress can develop into long-term chronic health conditions if they persist for too long. While any vacation is good, the longer you remain stress-free the better the health benefits will be, and the longer the worry-free feeling will stay with you.
Going on vacation is time to reconnect with the ones you love. It is an important bonding time to help keep relationships strong. Choose a sunny locale for your vacation and you can reap the benefits of higher doses of vitamin D. This can lead to an improved mood for everyone and help build positive memories that will bring a smile when you look back on them later. Building positive memories is an important factor in keeping relationships strong and healthy for the long-term.
A long vacation refreshes you and makes you feel more connected and content. As a result, you come back feeling refreshed. This leads to higher levels of productivity and innovation. It makes sense that the longer you experience reduced stress in your life, the better the benefits will be. Schedule a few weeks, or more, off soon! Your body and mind will thank you.