WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 16, 2014
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Why it’s Important to Take Vacation Time

Vacation’s are not just about “goofing off” or being lazy and unproductive for 10 days. They’re about rejuvenation, getting in touch with yourself and quite frankly they do wonders when it comes to keeping yourself sane. The number of people who rarely or simply never cash in on their vacation time in astounding- it’s practically an epidemic. The desire to be physically present and to stay mentally focused on your career at all times is understandable, especially when you’re incredibly passionate about what you do. However, you’re actually doing yourself and your company a great injustice by not stepping away and feeding your body and soul the things it truly craves.

Physical Health Benefits

The Framingham Heart Study found that men who take vacations are 32% less likely to die of heart attacks and vacationing women are 50% less at risk than their workaholic colleagues. Taking a break from the daily grind is also a big stress reducer, which in turn, reduces production of the stress hormone cortisol. The overproduction of cortisol is known to contribute to weight gain and now is thought to increase the speed of the aging process. So rest up- your body needs it!

Mental Health Benefits

Reducing stress levels is not only good for your body it’s good for your mind as well. Researchers from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women, who didn’t regularly vacation, were about three times more likely to suffer from depression than those who did. Giving your mind some time off will not only reduce your stress for the duration of your vacation, but it also lasts after you return to work. People are happier, less troubled by obstacles that pop up through their day and far more eager to please clients and colleagues alike, after returning from a vacation.

Creativity Boost

Clearing your mind of the mundane is a great way to increase creative thinking. If you aren’t bogged down with emails and phone calls or preoccupied with meeting deadlines you would be surprised at how easily creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems just glide right into your mind. Allow your brain to have the time and space it needs to produce innovative ideas. 

Expanding Your Mind

Go to museums, take in a Broadway show, visit a historic monument or battlefield. Taste exotic foods and then learn how to prepare them for yourself at home. In addition to having time think, you’ll have time to learn; Read new books, experience new customs, explore new terrain. Give yourself the gift of knowledge and a fresh perspective on life. Let yourself flourish.

The combination of all these benefits can lead to yet another bonus, your overall job performance will improve drastically. Think about it; you’re warding off a “burn out” by taking the time to recharge your batteries. You’re taking yourself out of a stress-inducing environment and allowing your mind and body the time they need to develop, process and produce the type of creative output that sets you apart from the competition. That is good for both you and the company no matter what industry you’re in.

 

Image: justpolly

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