How many times have we only thought about vacations and disregarded the idea? How many time have we been exhausted but never done anything about taking a real break and given ourselves the excuse that we have simply a lot of stuff to do? So often we forget to prioritize our health and needs first.
It should not be much of a surprise that resting or proper vacations are actually linked to good health. We take time for ourselves to discover new places, do activities we enjoy, and take a break from the desk we are stuck to all year round. We think spending some quality time with friends and family is all we need to have a pleasant break. What we do not know is that vacations have a lot of surprising health benefits too that we never knew of. Here are the top health benefits that you get by taking a well-deserved vacation for yourself.
It Lowers Your Stress Levels
The most apparent benefit of taking a vacation is the way we get rid of stress. Multiple studies and researches have shown this. It is how we overcome our routine grind and for most people; it is extremely overwhelming where they feel they have too much to do with too little time. They often end up with competing demands that they make themselves. For example, they would wonder maybe there is an important deadline at work.
The evenings are not enough to recharge for the next enduring day at work, and weekends should not be the only quality time that you spend with your kids. Now, where is the time for yourself? When are you truly unwinding?
Taking a vacation is where we give ourselves enough time and space to do things we have wanted to do all year. It gives us time away from maybe that one toxic person at work, or the worry about forgetting to do the laundry when it’s your turn again. Even though it is very temporary, you feel so much better and different after you return from a vacation.
Your Health Improves
A lot of research has portrayed the connection between vacation time and the lowered risk of diseases. One study showed how regular vacation time would lower heart disease, which is a similar result from other research studies conducted as well. Although it is still inconclusive to say whether it was directly the vacation that decreased the risk or if it was the lowers stress from the vacations that accomplished this. It is also noted that people with healthier cardiovascular system tend to take more vacations. Is that what maintains their health? People who booked one week of vacation time every year have a 30% lower risk for heart disease as compared to their colleagues who never took any vacation time.
Everyone knows that the secret behind strengthening relationships with the people you love is spending time with them. In our daily life, we prioritize our personal ties after our professional life, which most of the time overshadows everything until we have no time or energy to dedicate to other priorities. There also comes a time when those tasks no longer are priorities. Overworking causes you to stress and your relationships to suffer which piles up more stress on you. You start realizing that you have cut people off, are constantly turning down invites, and when you do get the time you unwillingly or subconsciously are bringing your work stress into these precious interactions.
By taking a vacation you are taking out time to reconnect with the people you want in your life. Traveling is a classic way to strengthen the bonds you have with these people. Vacations are the quality time that you have been missing from shared experiences that grow you, may they be good or bad, you need them. People who have stronger relationships feel they have someone to rely on and talk to when things are not going too well, it lowers their stress and ultimately chances of a deteriorating health. These people are also less susceptible to mental health issues such as depression which has a massive impact on your daily life.
Better Mental Health
Your physical health is not the only thing that improves when you take a vacation. Vacations can boost your mental health as well. A Marshfield Clinic study discovered that women who never missed vacation time had a much lower risk of depression than the participants who didn’t think much of vacations. A University of Pittsburgh research study showed similar results.
There are multiple factors that come into play here. One is all the Vitamin D that you soak by visiting a tropical region or a sunny place. Even if we do not live in a cold area, we are usually holed up in our offices during the entire day the sun is out and never get the exposure our bodies need. By allowing the body to recuperate during vacations we lower the risk of burnout and mental disorders. You can even discuss this issue with your management at work and how depression leads to a loss of productivity which in turn costs employers.
Recharging the Brain
We have established that vacation time helps improve our mental and physical health in the short term by evading mental disorders. What we don’t know is that it also actually works to rejuvenate the brain. Without much mental flexibility in our routine lives, all of it takes a toll on our spontaneous side, our creative mind, and our ability to think and come up with new ideas.
We only notice a creative block when we work on something and come up blank or feel like we have burned out. We feel our brain is tired, and that is because it is. While vacations give our bodies the much-needed rest, it works to recharge the brain by offering a once in a year chance to explore and in some ways increase its mental capacity. Making our own vacation schedules, and exploring actually makes us feel more in control, less boxed, and energizes our brain as it learns new things.
A Different Perspective
The best way to learn about the world is not to read about it online or in a book, but to pack your best camping essentials, and go out there to explore with nature. When we immerse ourselves in a different place and through this journey met new people and hear their stories, this is the closest we can get to the first- hand experience. Not only do we learn to be sympathetic and appreciate all that we have been missing, but it makes us realize that there is so much out there in the world, bigger than our worries from that one office we confine ourselves in. It helps us feel more confident in everything we undertake at work when we return.
Getting a new perspective can be beneficial in many ways for different people. For some, it helps to change their habits, for others it’s shifting their mindsets to find solutions to the same problems in different and maybe easier ways.
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on healthy lifestyle,travel, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.