A Mandate For The Workaholic: Take A Break, Before You Break

by Vanessa Luis

We’re truly a generation of workaholics, and our vacation habits stand proof of it. According to an Expedia study that has been tracking the vacationing attitudes among people in 24 countries, Americans take the fewest vacation days each year. Could this be stemming from innate fear or insecurity?

The Glassdoor Employee Confidence Survey claimed that our top fears affecting our holiday habits include the fear of being replaced, or worrying that no one else can complete our work. This is why, the average American employee takes only half the allotted vacation time.

Whatever maybe your reason for hoarding up your vacation days, you must understand that this affects your overall well-being and productivity. A vacation won’t just help you relax but could also improve your role at work. Here’s why you must take a break every once in a while.

  1. According to LA-based psychologist Robert Butterworth, a break allows you to refresh your brain cells. It helps stimulate parts of the brain that aren’t usually in use, making you more creative and inspired when you’re back to work.
  2. Studies have shown that people who work excessively become less productive. When you take a vacation, you have the time to gather perspective on what you do. This helps you step away and look at the big picture, thus helping you solve problems more efficiently.
  3. Another study of happiness and geography showed that, not only are we happy when we are outside, but we’re five percent happier if we are near a water body. Pack up, take off, hit the beach.
  4. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Radboud University claimed that most people in general felt more energetic and satisfied with life, when on vacations. These positive emotions motivate your work life too, making you much more productive.
  5. Apart from keeping you happier and improving your productivity at work, what’s most important is that taking time off regularly will help you live longer. A study by the State University of New York at Oswego found that men who went on a vacation every year increased their life expectancy by 20 percent.

So, don’t just cash in your vacation time; this year, take some time off to kick back and relax. Do it for your family, do it for yourself, or just do it in the name of workplace productivity.

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