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Why Taking Vacations is so Important

Why Taking Vacations is so Important

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “I know vacations are important, I just don’t have the time.” I totally get you there. But maybe after reading this, you’ll make the time. Remember: everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Take the time to relax (even if it’s just a little bit) and you’ll see a huge difference.

According to research, people in America work more than people in other industrialized countries. We also take fewer vacations, work longer days, and retire later. We also rank really high in hypertension, depression, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and other not-so-nice physical maladies. Is there a connection here? Maybe. But the point is that not taking care of ourselves, which includes giving ourselves time to relax, can have serious effects on our health and well-being. While there may be good reasons why so many people don’t take as many vacations (like workforce problems and working through the “layoff era”), there are still plenty of reasons to change this.

Physical Health

Many people understand that stress can influence your health. Chronic stress can influence weight, mood, energy, and even fertility. Taking a vacation and letting that stress go or even setting aside a time in the day to chill for a bit can drastically lower this stress and the effects it can have on you. Taking vacations and lowering your stress decreases your risk of heart disease and other diseases. The New York Times even reported that taking a vacation every 2 years lowers the risk of heart attacks more than taking a vacation every 6 years. Your physical health is not something to be taken lightly, which is why taking vacations should not be taken lightly either. Studies even show that just planning a vacation is healthy for you and you can see the effects of vacation before it even starts because of this.

Mental Health

We’ve already talked about how chronic stress can affect your physical health but it can also affect your mental health. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Too much of this hormone, created through chronic stress, can influence your brain and can contribute to depression and anxiety. No one wants that. But by going on vacation, your body has the chance to feel calm and relaxed, which can heal your body and brain chemistry. After the vacation, people often feel more focused and productive, which helps keep the stress under control once they return to work.

You might think that your productivity will go down because of going on vacation since you’ve been gone and you’re not in that working mindset anymore but the opposite is true. Studies have found that staying in that stressful environment can cause memory problems and problems with goal-directed activity and taking time off can let yourself recover from this.


How you feel about the world and about yourself can really influence your quality of life. Taking vacations can give you a better outlook on life as well as an increased motivation to achieve your goals. Better mood, fewer physical complaints, as well as improved happiness are all correlated with taking some time off to relax and recharge. Plus, spending quality time with family can strengthen relationships by creating memories and having fun together. Taking vacations and making time for yourself to relax and step away from stress decreases burnout, which makes you a more creative and productive worker when you come back.

The point is that taking the time to spend away from work is not only a nice thing to have, it’s a vital thing to have. By letting yourself have that time away from the stress of work and daily life, you are giving your body more time to heal and prepare you to return to your work and life. Recharged and full of energy, you can face the world anew

Jan 28th 2020 Ashley Baughman

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