If you’ve been thinking about skipping your vacation this year, perhaps you’re overloaded at work, or you’ve been busy making a major life transition, like moving into that new house you bought among the Raleigh homes for sale, think again.
There are many benefits to taking that annual vacation. It can enhance both your professional and personal life in many ways.
Vacations Can Increase Longevity
Want to live a longer and potentially happier life? Numerous studies have found that vacations can help you do just that, including recent findings that were a followup to the Helsinki Businessmen Study. The study followed male executives born between 1919 and 1934 for decades, with the research eventually evolving into how particular risk factors at mid-life can impact the length and quality of life. The researchers discovered that even those who had improved lifestyle factors, like quitting smoking and losing weight, experienced 37 percent higher mortality rates if they took fewer vacations or gave them up altogether.
One of the reasons people likely live longer when they enjoy annual vacations is that vacations tend to relieve stress. But this brings other benefits too. When you’re stressed out, it can be challenging to focus and see things clearly. When you take a break, you’ll come back refreshed, better able to make good decisions and even be more productive than you were before you left. It also helps to put a better perspective on how to balance personal life and work, further decreasing the adverse effects of stress once you return.
It Can Make You Smarter
If you use your vacation to travel, it can boost brainpower. Your brain is triggered to function at a higher level due to new experiences, perhaps new roadways you’ll have to navigate, new people you meet, or attempting to communicate in a new language – the latter of which can even help improve short term memory.
Lowering the Risk of Depression
Annual vacations can help improve mental health too. You’re likely to feel happier before you go simply because of the anticipation about going. And after vacationing, most people report experiencing higher energy levels and feeling more satisfied with life. With fewer negative feelings and more positive ones, it can help lower the risk of depression.
Improved Personal Relationships and Me-Time
Taking a vacation provides time to strengthen personal relationships, from family members to friends. When continuously working, you’re probably missing out on bonding opportunities, gatherings with family and friends, and the like. There’s no way to compensate for all that lost time. You can’t wait until you retire, by then, your relationships will have likely suffered, and you may even lose some of them. Vacations provide that all-important time to do things that really matter.
Of course, self-time is essential too. A vacation is a great time to take care of No. 1. If you don’t take care of yourself, ultimately, you won’t be able to take care of others, or your many responsibilities.