According to a survey sponsored by the Hudson Employment Firm, more than one-third of American workers fail to max out their annual vacation days before the end of the year.
“When people don’t take time off from their work, they are overtaxed in terms of functioning,” explains Baltimore psychoanalyst Dr. Marilyn Martin. “You get to a level of stress where you are no longer productive, become burned out and are not able to function at your highest level.
The benefits of a vacation are plenty. The time away from the stress of work leaves room for rejuvenation, rest, embarking on new experiences, reestablishing relationships with friends and family, clearing your mind, recharging creative juices and just being good to yourself.
• Vacations Promote Creativity: A good vacation can help us to reconnect with ourselves. They operate as a vehicle for self-discovery and help us get back to feeling our best.
• Vacations Stave Off Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, which makes them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
• Vacations Can Keep Us Healthy: Taking regular time off to ‘recharge your battery’ will keep your stress levels lower and can keep you healthier.
• Vacations Can Strengthen Bonds: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong and help you enjoy the good times more AND help you through the stress of the hard times. In fact, a study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
• Vacations Can Help With Your Job Performance: As the authors of the above study suggest, the psychological benefits that come with more frequent vacations lead to an increased quality of life, which can lead to increased quality of work on the job.
The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.