As long as we all were kids, we did not really care much for vacations. Every day was a little adventure of its own. As we began the amazing process of adulting, each day is running from pole to pillar to build a career, get that certificate and finally, make ends meet. With each passing day, the stress just grows on us, and the final outcome — we forget to take a moment to close our eyes and breathe. At times, a soaring wanderlust is often dampened by the lack of time, resources or sometimes a case of chronic workaholism. But, the biggest stalling factor is a fear of work build-up, guilt, and peer pressure at the workplace.
How much of vacation is actually good for you and how to make that happen? Read on to find out.
For starters, throw the guilt and fear out the window. Taking a vacation is good for you. In addition, studies suggest that employees who take vacations are more productive in their workplace (1). So, ideally, it is best to take at least one vacation in a year. This can prove helpful to reduce the chance of a mental burn out.
However, the lack of vacation is not affecting merely your productivity at work, but also your life expectancy. It has been found that people taking periodic vacations can increase your lifespan with lesser chances of stress-related disorders (2). So, in order to keep your health and career in good shape, it is ideally recommended to take at least three weeks of vacation per year.
Good for health, you say? Similar to a healthy diet, ample sleep, and physical activity, a vacation can have a profound effect on your health.
- People who take vacations and unwind have been found to be relatively more creative than their counterparts who took little to no days off (3). This could possibly be owing to the exposure to different kinds of people, in turn increasing the mind’s ability to cope with newer situations.
- Vacations help let steam off. While on a vacation, we often forget the past and future while focusing on the now. Do you recollect how you feel more relaxed and at peace after a day of starting to a destination? That probably is your brain thanking you.
- Goes without a say that a lower level of stress leads to lesser strain on your heart. In addition, you will start getting physically active while traveling — be it climbing hills, trekking, cycling or even making your way through oceans of tourists. These cardiovascular activities can be instrumental in setting a better benchmark for your heart’s health.
But, in today’s competitive and fast-moving workplace culture, how do you manage to take vacations in the midst of busy work schedules, career challenges, and piling mountains of bills to pay? Here are a few ideas that will help make that possible.
- Plan for nearby and cheap destinations. This way you will have to spend lesser on executing and not waste too much time traveling.
- Try planning your vacation six months ahead of time. Firstly, this will help you get better rates, as most destinations see a price surge closer to the travel dates. Secondly, this will give you more incentive to plan your work, finance, and other commitments based on the travel date.
- Another factor that can help you travel cheaper is by planning for off-season destinations. By doing this, you will see a plunge in costs of travel, accommodation, and food, among others.
- Finally, the best way to plan a mini-vacation without incurring a loss of pay at work is to squeeze in plans for the weekend. This will work even better if the first or last day of a week is a public holiday.
One of the most common problems faced by most people who want to travel is that they work a full-time job with no option for an extended vacation. Traveling to nearby destinations can help save a significant amount of time. Plan for something within a 200-300 kilometer radius, so you can plan a night ride to save time on the commute. In addition, it is vital that you do not sacrifice your paid holidays. We often have the tendency to take a payout on our paid holidays. Use your paid holidays wisely, and they will pay-off well.
Summing it up, if you believe that non-stop working round the year is going to give you fabulous results in your career, take a moment and think again. Your body and mind need the right break from your daily routine, and the best break is a burst of freshness into your life. Go on, take out your calendar, plan a vacation. Or just pack your bag, hire a car and drive into the open highway this weekend. What are you waiting for? Time isn’t waiting for you.