Here is another fantastic article by out guest blogger Jamie Strand on the importance of taking your holidays each year and the health benefits that come with it. After all nothing puts a smile on your face like some much needed relaxation time !
The Mental Health Benefits of Using Your Vacation Days
You’d love to go on vacation. You dream about hopping on a plane and going to an exotic foreign country where you can lay on the beach and sip something yummy from a glass graced with a tiny umbrella. Or maybe you fantasize about jumping in the minivan with the family and driving across country to see the sights.
But just as soon as those tantalizing visions pop into your head, they quickly fizzle away. After all, the boss can’t spare you at work. There are too many deadlines to meet. Maybe your supervisor will be annoyed and find a replacement for you. Or maybe you feel that your department will be lost without you. So you give up those vacation days and keep dragging yourself to work even though you feel frazzled, depressed and totally stressed out. Well, now is the time to change your way of thinking. Using your vacation days is good for you. In fact, it improves your mental health. Read on to discover how traveling on vacation can be the best thing you ever do for yourself.
When you travel on vacation, it allows you to escape from the environment that is the source of your stress and anxiety. Many people struggle with the the stress of meeting deadlines at work, stress of trying to balance home and work life or stress of being unemployed or underemployed. All of these factors gradually take a toll on our mental health.
If you don’t take time to get away from everyday pressures, you wind up feeling depressed, irritable and filled with anxiety. Your memory worsens, and it becomes more difficult to make wise decisions. These are all important reasons why you should really consider taking those vacation days.
After taking a vacation, your outlook on life improves. Why? When you’re on vacation, you’re able to relax with people you care about, sharing new experiences as you explore unique places and come in contact with people that differ in culture, language or religion. If you take a family vacation, you have the opportunity to strengthen the bond with your loved ones. You broaden your mind and create shared memories with family. Even better, these memories are completely unrelated to school, work or regular life. A University of Vienna study even found that the positive effects of taking a vacation continue even after you return to work. In fact, when study participants returned to work, they experienced fewer physical ailments such as backaches, headaches and heart problems--all issues linked to stress.
When you slave away at work, never taking days off, you begin to feel resentful and burned out. Eventually, your work production suffers. Going away on vacation helps to recharge your energy and sharpen your mind as you plunge into a new environment and maybe even learn a foreign language. Finding your way around an unfamiliar town by studying a map or taking a flamenco dance class while visiting Spain are both ways that you boost your cognitive abilities while on vacation. These benefits improve your work performance once you return to work.
Taking Your Pet on Vacation
Do you own a pet? Why not take it on vacation with you? It’s a well known fact that pets help reduce stress in our lives. Taking your pet with you to an outdoor or wilderness vacation may be just the thing you need to help decompress from all of life’s anxieties. Many hotels accept pets, so it would be easy to take your precious cat or dog along for some rest and relaxation.
Recovering from Addiction
If you’re recovering from addiction, you also receive mental health benefits when you travel. Taking a vacation promotes self-healing. It might allow you to meditate on your past mistakes and your hopes for a positive, healthy future.
You earned those vacation days. Every day you come to work and deal with tight deadlines, overtime hours and stressful situations. So why let those vacation days fall by the wayside? Take time for yourself, improve your mental health and travel somewhere on vacation. Just don’t forget to take your sunscreen!
Photo via Pixabay