Summer is here! Longer days and, of course, VACATION!
According to Allina Health there reasons vacations are necessary for your health. Studies demonstrate that vacations have physical and mental health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.
Looking for reasons to take a vacation? We found a few:
Improve physical health.
Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
Improve mental health.
Neuroscientists have found that chronic exposure to stress can alter your brain structure and bring on anxiety and depression. When you take a vacation, feelings of calm arise and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
According to a Gallup study, people who “always make time for regular trips” had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
Increase mental motivation.
Many who return from vacation are more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and cause memory problems. Taking time off can be like getting a tune-up for the brain, improving your mental health and cognition.
Improve family relationships.
Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. The Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages. Children and Dad’s benefit tremendously from vacations, too!
Employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts. Another way to manage burnout is through the Oxygen Mask Rule: “Secure your masks before assisting others.” In other words, address your mental, physical and spiritual needs before committing to responsibilities benefitting others outside of your immediate family.
Research shows planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip, and many weeks following!
In summary: take a vacation!