Can you tell what’s been on my mind lately? After spending the weekend drooling over beautiful resorts with my fiancé for our destination wedding, both of us have beaches on the brain!
Did you know 212 MILLION vacation days go unused each year?
We’ve both been the type that hasn’t always used all our vacation days, and if we did, it was just to sit at home. There’s NOTHING wrong with a staycation, but we realized that if we’re hanging out at home, we’re likely to go clean the kitchen, because the dishes pile up even when we’re not working. He’s likely to go mow the lawn, because it bothers him when he looks out the window to see it too long. So if you check off your to do list while on vacation, is it really a vacation?
We all knew that vacations are good for our mental and emotional health, but it goes beyond that. It’s good for your physical health, too! According to this website, there are 7 benefits to actually USING your vacation time!
1. Reduced Risk of Heart Issues
Stress hurts your heart. Your heart is a pretty vital organ for, you know, living. A study by the New York Times showed that you can greatly reduce your risk of Coronary Heart Disease or heart attacks by taking a vacation every two years versus every six!
2. A Healthier Brain
Chronic stress not only hurts your heart, it can fundamentally alter your brain, too! Even if you’re not prone to anxiety and depression normally, stress can flip all the wrong switches in your brain to make you prone to it. When you take that vacation from stress it actually allows your mind to heal, and you’ll be all around better when you come back!
3. Better Overall Health
There was actually a Gallup study done on people who take regular vacations versus people who don’t and it proved better well being in the travelers! Three days after they got back from vacation, they were still complaining less about physical problems, having better quality sleep, and their mood had improved. The study talked to these participants five weeks later and the gains were STILL present at that time!
4. Increased Motivation
You know when you NEED to do stuff but instead you want to sit and veg out? And then you feel crappy for vegging, but that doesn’t help your motivation TO do anything? People who return from vacation have reportedly been more focused and productive. Yet again that “s” word, stress, can put a haze over you making certain tasks difficult and causing memory problems you wouldn’t otherwise have.
5. Better Relationships
Happy wife, happy life, right? A study done by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services showed that women who took vacations were more satisfied in their marriages than women who didn’t take regular getaways!
6. Less Burnout
Burnout is real, and exhausting, and honestly expensive for your employer! Those that take the time to relax (like sipping a margarita on a beach in Mexico, perhaps), regularly are less likely to experience burnout, in turn making them more creative and productive than those who are overworked and under-rested.
7. More Happiness
Isn’t your goal in life to simply be happy? Vacations can do that! Just the act of planning a vacation can boost happiness! Some people are in a better mood up to eight weeks before their planned trip. So if you’re keeping track from above, your mood boosts around eight weeks PRE trip and you’re still in a great mood, getting better sleep and in better health five weeks later! Plan at least a mini trip every three months and you’re golden!
So… where are you going next?