5 Reasons You Need to Book a Vacation Now

Employees who work full-time in the United States are required to have benefits and vacation time. There’s a reason that the U.S. government saw fit to require vacation days as a standard for employees. We need vacations for our health and sanity. Despite this, it’s surprising how many people don’t take their vacation days. Unfortunately, their health suffers as a result.Even though the law requires that full-time employees be given time for vacation, more than 50 percent fail to take those days. According to a Glassdoor survey, 54 percent of employees say they don’t take their vacation days because they’re afraid their boss will replace them if they do.However, studies show that the opposite is more likely to occur. When you take your vacation days, your health and work performance improve dramatically. Taking a few days to spend in the sun can give you a healthier perspective on work and life. In case you’re not convinced, read these science-backed benefits of vacation time.

1. Become More Productive

Stress and workplace burnout are the enemies to productivity. They make it difficult to harness motivation and accomplish everything on your to-do list. The longer you work without a break, the more likely you are to succumb to illness, anxiety, depression, and suppressed cognitive function.A review of several surveys revealed that 64 percent of employees reported coming back “refreshed and excited to get back to my job” following a relaxing vacation. Another 41 percent said they were much more productive following their absence. It’s clear evidence that taking a vacation could be exactly what the mind needs to return to work with full vigor.

2. Boost Creativity

After working in a job for a while, it’s easy to lose creative insight. You get stuck in your routine and fail to think outside the box, even when you desperately need new ideas. The solution for greater creativity at work is actually found in distancing yourself from the situation for a bit.A study published on Science Daily looked at the way the brain reacts to familiar situations by examining the SN/VTA, often called the “major novelty center,” which is largely responsible for the formation of new ideas. They found that when people were constantly exposed to the familiar, the SN/VTA had very little activity. When it was exposed to new places and experiences, it ranked high on the activity charts.In other words, your brain struggles to develop creative thoughts without time away from the norm. Taking your vacation days and stepping out of your beloved routine can successfully revitalize your brain and lead to greater ideation.

3. Improve Short-Term Memory

Do you find yourself missing meetings or pushing deadlines because you forgot? Do you walk into a room and forget why you walked in, or find yourself drawing blanks during important business meetings? Although some of this could be attributed to your personality or disorganization, much of it is probably because you’re stressed, haven’t been sleeping well, and are sorely in need of a vacation.Your short-term memory is dependent on the length and quality of sleep you receive each night. During this essential time, the brain categorizes your memory and allows you to recall things easier when you’re well rested.A vacation can help to stop bad habits that lead to a poor night’s sleep, like checking emails at midnight or waking up in the middle of the night because you’re stressed. You can get back into a good sleep pattern and restore your memory.

4. Reduce Stress

More than 77 percent of people report experiencing physical symptoms relating to stress on a regular basis. The biggest stress triggers are job pressure and money; staying wrapped up in these problems will quickly lead to greater health and wellness issues including anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Stress has also been known to cause heart problems, obesity, and diabetes.Study after study shows the healing benefits of a vacation. Some time off provides a short window where you can stop worrying about the things that constantly bother you and take care of yourself. You can more easily put things in perspective and relax as you put a new focus on life.  Another thing you can do to reduce stress is talk therapy. For the months you’re not able to take a vacation, you can still reduce stress by connecting with the licensed therapists at BetterHelp.

5. Extend Your Life

People who go on vacations regularly tend to live longer. An Environmental Health Perspectives study found a positive connection between those who take outdoor vacations and greater health. They concluded that regular vacationers are naturally healthier, and they’re at a 12 percent lower risk of an early death.The health benefits are obvious, including lower risk of developing serious illnesses like heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. The healthier you are, both mentally and physically, the less likely you are to pass away unexpectedly.With these five undisputable benefits in mind, what are you waiting for? Book your vacation now, and see for yourself how your life can change for the better.


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