It is OK to just say what the hell and take a day or even two off once in a while. Everybody needs some downtime to recharge their batteries, so to speak. I came across the following article on the internet that helps to illustrate this point.
7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Take Vacations Even If You’re Busy
By Casey Imafidon
Let’s face it, people are more concerned about their jobs and livelihood now more than ever. This may be because we are returning from the recession and are now more aware of keeping those things we have. However in a bid to selfishly guard our time, we lose some important things in our lives. We need to work, yet we need to get off being busy and experience a vacation, too.
1. You reduce your stress
Whether you are experiencing a burnout or are embattled with lots of pressures at work, going on a vacation will dramatically reduce whatever stress you are experiencing. Stress doesn’t help you seeing things clearly. But when you do take a break you understand how to balance your work and life and decrease the effects of stress and any signs of burnout.
2. You do your health a lot of good
According to a study by the State University of New York at Oswego, after surveying 12,000 men it was discovered that men who go on vacation reduce their overall risk of soon death by 20 percent. According to an article by the New York Times you increase your rate of dying soon by 21 percent when you do not take any annual vacations.
3. You improve your productivity
According to a survey by Sam’s Club it was discovered that very few small business owners take days off. This caused exhaustion, impatience, poor decision making and illness. You will be helping your work by becoming more productive after taking a vacation. According to experts from the University of Pittsburgh, people are satisfied with life on vacations and return more energized and positive.
4. You become more creative afterwards
Vacation provides you with the time to refresh and recharge your brain cells. According to experts we are wired to recharge and not go the long haul or stretch without a break. That is why many workers or busy people get their best ideas away from work or the office space.
5. You become happier
A recent study shows that taking time off actually improves your happiness. People who took a vacation were happier than those who did not after 1,500 Dutch adults were surveyed. This was because of the wild anticipation and excitement involved for their vacation. Even after returning from the vacation the elation was sustained. According to the study leader, Jeroen Nawijn, it will be better to spread the vacation experience twice or thrice in a year rather than taking one big vacation!
6. You are open to new perspectives
Whether you are going to the beach in a foreign country or driving through the heat of Las Vegas, time from work gives you an excellent time to reflect and open yourself to new possibilities. At such a period away from work you can see the world from a holistic angle rather than a lopsided angle. You could be pushed to read a business book, learn new cultures and change your perspective to one that will help you gain better vision as you return to your every day job.
7. You offer yourself some family or self time
Quality of life is dependent on how you appreciate yourself and those who are around you. It could be with yourself, family or friends; but only vacations from a busy schedule can offer you time to appreciate the people around you. Doing a vacation offers you an opportunity to truly think about those things that matter, whether it is by reflecting or planning, vacation gives you a sense of peace and warmth you will never get in a workplace environment.
It is important to be selfish sometimes. As the old saying goes, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” In a way we are social animals meant to spend and challenge ourselves from regular routine. Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new is good for your body, mind and those around you.
Below is another take on why it is important to take some time to simply relax.
5 Reasons You Need to Take a Vacation, According to Science
By Sara Clarence
If you’ve ever felt more present, more stimulated, more tuned into the moment while away from home, it wasn’t your imagination. “When we travel we are usually breaking our normal routine,” says Davidson, a pioneer in the science of mindfulness and meditation. That means we can’t operate on autopilot. “That decreased familiarity is an opportunity for most people to be more fully present, to really wake up,” he says. While mindfulness can be its own reward, it also has knock-on benefits: it’s been shown to reduce stress and increase compassion, resilience, and happiness. Another plus of international travel: It “can help people appreciate the common humanity and basic goodness which is present in all human beings,” Davidson says. “Not just those who look like us or who talk like us or who dress like us.”
Improve Heart Health
Long-term studies have shown a connection between vacations and heart health. One, based on the famous Framingham Heart Study and published in American Journal of Epidemiology back in 1992, found that women who took very few vacations—less than one every six years—were twice as likely to have a heart attack or coronary death than women who had a couple of breaks each year. Another that was also based on thousands of subjects concluded that men who took fewer vacations were much more likely to die from coronary heart disease than men who took more vacations.
“It’s possible that people who have more work stress don’t feel like they can take vacation and die early,” says Brooks Gump, professor of public health at Syracuse University and the author of the second study. “But I think there’s a good chance that vacation does reduce your risk of heart disease. The next step is to figure out the mechanism.”
You don’t even have to leave home in order to get heart-related upsides: Another study Gump co-authored in 2019 compared blood test results with the number of vacations subjects had taken in the prior 12 months. For each additional vacation, the incidence of metabolic syndrome—a group of conditions that puts people at higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke—went down by almost 25 percent. The big surprise: the results were even more potent for those who staycationed.
Sounds obvious, but it’s also been proven. Multiple studies have shown that vacations reduce stress, which is known to negatively impact blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other measures of health. Even knowing that a vacation is coming up can keep stress from, well, stressing you out. The same Syracuse University researchers who tracked metabolic syndrome looked at what happened to people’s heart rates when they were exposed to stress in the weeks leading up to a vacation. The closer they were to takeoff, the less work pressures affected them.
It’s well-known that relaxation can juice up your creativity. “Neuroscience is so clear, through PET scans and MRIs, that the ‘aha’ moment comes when you’re in a relaxed state of mind,” Schulte says. That’s why you have your best ideas in the shower or on a walk—or on vacation. Then there’s the power of immersing yourself in another culture: One fashion-focused study published in 2014 compared the backgrounds of 270 top designers with their runway shows over 21 seasons. Designers who had worked outside of their home countries—the Karl Lagerfelds and Alber Elbazes of the world—produced more novel work. If you want to spark some fresh thinking, go abroad.
Vacation doesn’t just have the power to pep up a person, but an entire country. A handful of years ago, Swedish experts did a deep dive into antidepressant consumption. They figured out that fewer meds were dispensed during vacation periods. The more people who were on vacation—in July, for instance, which is a big month off in Sweden—the bigger the impact.
Finally, there’s arguably the biggest benefit of all—which hasn’t yet turned up in studies, and may not be apparent for many years. “At the end of your life, you remember moments of connection,” Schulte says. “The times when it feels like you’re so present. Psychologists call it peak human experience—and it doesn’t happen in the office.”
Even though we are the most wonderour organic machines ever created, we still need to rest. Even the machines we build to make our lives easier breakdown. Everything can and does wear out and breaks down. Take care of your self and your machines and you will live a much more fulfilling and successful life.
To wrap it up I have included the most comprehensive site in my search in the Addendum of this chapter.
The 35 Best Reasons to Take a Vacation
STRESS RELIEF, A BETTER SEX LIFE, AND (OF COURSE) A SPARKLING TAN.
By Sarah Crow
There are plenty of good reasons to take a vacation, whether you’re eager to catch up on beach reads with a cocktail in hand or just want to take a much-needed break from the office. Still, while 73 percent of full-time private sector workers are offered paid vacation days, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, research suggests that Americans are taking less time off than ever. In fact, about 55 percent of Americans are leaving some or all of their vacation time unused.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Approximately one in three adults in America has high blood pressure, putting them at risk for chronic disease, strokes, and heart attacks. The good news? Taking a vacation could be the cure. Research published in Psychosomatic Medicine reveals that individuals who spent more time enjoying leisure activities, like vacations, had reduced cortisol levels. High cortisol is linked to increased blood pressure, so if you want to keep your numbers in a healthy range, it’s high time you start scoping out hotels.
- A Healthier Heart: As your blood pressure drops, so does your risk of heart attack. Fortunately, taking a vacation can have a profound effect on your cardiovascular health, lowering your cortisol levels, blood pressure, and your heart attack risk in one fell swoop.
- Weight Loss: Want to lose those last 10 pounds? Try taking a vacation. Having high cortisol levels increases your risk of unintended weight gain, but a relaxing trip can have those numbers dropping in no time.
- Lower Stress: If you’re feeling stressed out, there’s virtually no better medicine than a vacation. In addition to reducing the psychological stress of the daily grind, taking a vacation can reduce stress-related cortisol surges, breaking you out of the cortisol and stress cycle for good.
- Better Overall Health: Staying healthy could be as easy as using your vacation days. Researchers at Penn State found a link between leisure activities, like travel, and increased overall health in later life, so start racking up those frequent flier miles now.
- A Slimmer Waistline: That ever-expanding waistline could be stopped with few days of sun and sand. Vacationing reduces cortisol levels, which are linked to weight gain, specifically in the abdominal region. Take a few days off, lower your cortisol levels, and you’ll be back in your skinny jeans before you know it.
- Increased Creativity: Seeing the same four walls day in and day out is enough to make anyone feel more than a little stifled. Fortunately, all it takes is some vacation time to tap that font of creativity living within you. If you can go abroad, all the better: Researchers at Northwestern University have linked international travel with increased creativity. Few great artists have found themselves inspired by a cubicle in the suburbs, after all.
- Opportunities to Make New Friends: After college, opportunities to make new friends often seem few and far between. Luckily, traveling can open you up to a much wider social circle than the one you have available to you at home, affording you lasting friendships along the way.
- Better Mood: Finding yourself in a less-than-pleasant mood after a long work week is hardly unheard of. If you want to reduce your stress and return to the office with a smile, consider taking a vacation. In fact, a study published in Applied Research in Quality of Life reveals that just booking a vacation to look forward to significantly increased study participants’ happiness.
- Increased Productivity: If you want to get your work done faster and more effectively, you should definitely take those vacation days. Multiple studies suggest that participating in leisure activities can increase workplace productivity, and anecdotally, a few days on the beach is a surefire cure for office burnout.
- Improved Relationships: Stress is no better for the health of your relationships than it is for the health of your body. According to one study, couples who take vacations together are happier and more satisfied with their relationships than those who don’t.
- A Better Sex Life: Not only is vacation sex more fun than your average roll in the hay at home, taking a vacation may make you more likely to feel frisky. Vacationing can lower your cortisol levels, thus increasing circulation and arousal. And having sex in a bed you don’t have to make yourself afterwards? Truly top-notch stuff.
- Access to New Cultures: It’s easy to forget that there’s a whole world outside of your city or town. Vacationing can open you up to cultures you would never have a chance to experience otherwise, making you worldly (and a whole lot more interesting to talk to) in the process.
- A Healthier Immune System: While recycled airplane air is unlikely to do great things for your health, foreign food might just give your immune system a boost after all. Research suggests that introducing new foods into your diet can rapidly alter the bacteria in your gut, affecting your immune system, about 70 percent of which lives in your digestive tract.
- Reduced Anxiety: Feeling anxious? Try taking some time off. Cortisol and anxiety are inextricably entwined, and lowering the former with a vacation can help you ditch those feelings of anxiety, too.
- Better Odds of Getting Promoted: If you think that giving up your paid time off will increase your chances of landing a promotion, think again. In fact, research suggests that workers who take advantage of their vacation days are more likely to be promoted than those who don’t.
- Fewer Digestive Issues: Keeping your digestive tract healthy could be as easy as booking a trip. Stress influences the production of cortisol, which can lead to digestive health issues. Take a vacation, lower your circulating cortisol, and you’ll kiss those stomach issues goodbye faster than you can say “Puerta Vallarta.”
- Reduced Depression Risk: Spending day after day in the same fluorescent-lit cubicle can be enough to make anyone feel depressed. Luckily, a vacation might just be the cure you need. Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have found that spending time in nature can reduce symptoms of depression, so if you’re feeling blue, enjoying a vacation somewhere green could do the trick.
- A Lower Risk of Obesity: Reduce your risk of joining the ranks of the obese by taking those vacation days. Work stress can increase cortisol production, influencing weight gain and increasing your risk of obesity, as well.
- Increased Odds of Getting a Raise: Want to see more zeroes in your paycheck? Taking some time off is a good way to get the ball rolling. According to Project Time Off, workers who took their allotted vacation days were more likely to receive raise than those who didn’t. But before you start that conversation with your boss, make sure you know exactly How to Ask Your Boss For A Raise.
- Fewer Wrinkles: Keep those crow’s feet at bay by taking your vacation days. Stress can cause an inflammatory response throughout the body, triggering increased cellular aging, the results of which can show up on your skin. If you want to maintain that radiant, youthful glow, a vacation could be just the thing you need.
- Better Sleep: Hotel beds can feel like a little slice of heaven, making it easier to get some much-needed rest when you’re in one. Better yet, when you reduce your day-to-day stress by enjoying a little time off, those thoughts keeping you up at night at home are likely to all but disappear.
- Fewer Aches and Pains: Those constant aches and pains don’t have to be part of your everyday life. Research published in Physical Therapy reveals a strong correlation between stress, depression, and chronic pain, but fortunately, vacation is effective at reducing all three.
- Improved Memory Retention: Vacation is good for more than just making new memories: it may even help you preserve old ones, too. Taking part in leisure activities is linked to improved memory retention, making those vacation days a potent prescription for a healthier mind.
- Reduced Dementia Risk: Over time, the results of taking your vacation days may even help you reduce your dementia risk. Research in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals a link between partaking in leisure activities and a reduced risk of dementia later in life, so there’s no time like the present to start pricing flights.
- Fewer Headaches: The solution to those stress headaches could be a plane ride away. Vacationing can reduce stress and cortisol, both of which are related to an increased risk of headaches.
- Better Problem Solving Skills: You’re not doing yourself any favors at work by refusing to take your vacation. In fact, research suggests that workers who use their vacation days had fewer problems at the office than those getting burnt out by the 9-to-5 grind.
- Healthier Skin: If you want to maintain that glowing complexion, start planning your next vacation. Researchers at SUNY Stony Brook have found that exposure to compact fluorescent lighting—the kind you may have in your office—can actually cause skin damage. However, controlled exposure to sunlight on a tropical vacation can increase your body’s Vitamin D absorption, making your skin healthier and more radiant.
- Improved Performance at Work: Sacrificing your vacation days won’t actually help you get more done at the office. According to a study conducted by Project Time Off, workers who took their full vacation were more effective at their jobs when they returned to work when compared to those who took only a portion of their vacation.
- Reduced Fatigue: Stress can be major energy-sapper, but taking a vacation can have you feeling less fatigued in no time. Vacation can help you escape from the stresses of your everyday life, lowering your cortisol levels, helping you sleep better, and providing you all the energy you’ve been missing out on.
- Faster Healing: Stress is doing you no favors when it comes to recovering from injury. Stress and cortisol spikes can prolong the amount of time it takes for you to heal from illness or injury. So, if you want to get back on your feet faster, take advantage of those vacation days.
- Improved Muscle Tone: What do vacation and muscle tone have to do with one another? More than you might think. The stress associated with a vacation-free life can make you less motivated to work out, increase your body’s production of belly fat, and may make you more likely to get injured, while increasing the amount of time it takes to recover. Taking a stress-relieving vacation can help you get back on track and keep those hard-earned muscles from wasting away.
- More Time Spent With Friends: With long hours at the office, it’s hard to find time to socialize with friends. Luckily, vacation provides you the perfect opportunity to get some time alone with your spouse or other members of your inner circle, making your relationship stronger along the way.
- Improved Cognitive Function: Give your brain a boost by taking every last one of your vacation days this year. Researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that the more time people spent at work, the lower their overall cognitive function. If you want to keep your mind sharp, taking a break from time to time is key.
- A Longer Life: From improving your heart health to staving off dementia, vacations are crucial for our overall well-being. When all those risk factors are reduced, a longer life isn’t far off.