I just returned from a few days of vacation. I loved just being able to work at home getting some things done that I’ve neglected, like painting the house, mulching the flower beds, planting the garden and attending a wedding and a couple of out of state graduations. Was it relaxing? You bet. Am I tired? Amen, but it’s a very different tired than when I’m at the office, working with my responsibilities. There is something very gratifying about doing a different kind of work that I’m used to on a daily basis. I thought I’d look up some additional benefits to taking some time off work. Here’s what I found:
*Vacations can help to keep us healthy. When we take regular time off to relax or even work in a different way it helps to keep stress levels lower. Some research indicates that those who take vacations have less chance for a heart attack than those who don’t. Whether it’s time camping or at a resort doesn’t matter, it’s the change of routine that seems to make the difference and that change in routine can also help change other habits like curbing a late night snacking or beginning to taking a daily walk.
One study found that three days after vacation employees physical complaints, quality of sleep and mood was better than before vacation.
*Vacations help to promote creativity and productivity. Some research indicates that many people don’t take the vacation time they have earned. It is a challenge to get things ready to go and then to play catch up when you return, but for most, it’s well worth the efforts for the mental change in attitude.
Here are some additional benefits noted by employers:
Performance is improved by employees who take regular vacations. Overworked employees have been shown to be a financial drain on companies by having higher health care costs, more absenteeism, turnover and on-the-job errors than their peers.
Some businesses have actually decreased turnover by giving an extra week of vacation
*Vacations provide a good way to pursue hobbies, or investigate things we might like to do more of. One suggestion was to do something different than you do on a daily basis. If you work outside, check out inside opportunities like visiting museums or taking a class and likewise, if you are inside on a regular basis, get outside and enjoy nature or a sporting event.
*Vacations can help to strengthen bonds by spending time with loved ones. A study in Arizona found that women who took vacations were more satisfies with their marriages.
Whatever you choose for a vacation, remember that the planning piece of it has been shown to provide lots of benefits also. Many gain enjoyment just by looking forward to the event, so maybe plan two or three short trips if you enjoy the anticipation. So, pull out your calendar, talk with your family and plan some time to get away, you’ll be glad you did!