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Vacation Makes You Better at Your Job

Over half of Americans leave vacation days on the table, every year. Yet, taking time off is a necessity of personal happiness and wellbeing; not a sign of weakness or apathy.

The number one reason employees don’t take all their vacation is a fear or anxiety about how their colleagues and supervisors will perceive them in the workplace.

Workers fear when they’re gone, they will weaken their chance of getting a raise or promotion; will be less respected by their peers; will seem “replaceable.”

The surprising thing is, most managers know the value of vacation time and actually want their employees to take days off. Those who take time off to rest and recharge are more likely to advance in the long-run, versus those who do not.

Yet, the wide scope of workplace culture still attaches a stigma to vacation days.

There’s even been a term specifically for those who don’t take time off: the “work martyr.” These employees don’t use their vacation days because they fear “falling behind” or being replaced in their absence.

Yet, work martyrs are significantly less likely (around 80+%) to get a raise or promotion in comparison to their counterparts.

There is one thing work martyrs do get more of stress.

The year is already more than halfway over, but you’ve still got time to cash-out on your remaining vacation days. As if you needed any more convincing, discover four reasons why taking vacation makes you better at your job:

1. Reduces Stress

Why are vacations so effective in reducing stress? The answer is simple: vacations remove you from stressful situations and environments.

More often than not, that is the workplace. Stress can manifest itself into physical sensations, as well as mental roadblocks. It’s totally common to experience headaches, backaches, body stiffness, poor sleep or even heart problems, all as a symptom of stress.

Studies have found the stress-relieving benefits of vacation can also alleviate physical symptoms, lasting well beyond the duration of vacation.

2. Improves Sleep

At night, it can be particularly challenging to wind down and get a full night’s rest, when an endless cycle of thoughts, worries, chatter and excess noise is rattling around in our brains.

Disrupted or lack of sleep is a common association with stress and only stands to compound and worsen, the longer it is left untreated. Lack of sleep contributes to low focus and alertness, as well as impairing decision-making and reaction time, thus leading to poor choices or accidents.

Taking time off is a surefire way to reset your sleep patterns and get back on a normal, healthy schedule so that you can perform at your fullest capacity. More sleep will improve your productivity, physical health, and mental clarity.

3. Supports Heart Health

Did you know, skipping just one year of vacation can increase your chances of heart-related illness by nearly 30%? For men, the odds are even higher; stress is one of the most dangerous threats to cardiovascular health.

Similar results are seen in women, as one study shows women who took a vacation once every six years or less were nearly eight times more likely to experience cardiovascular health issues.

Don’t let these statistics scare you — instead, take responsibility for your health and wellbeing, and grant yourself some much-needed time off.

4. Enhances Productivity

In the hustle bustle of everyday, it’s easy to get swept up in the commotion and take on more than we can feasibly handle.

The urge to get more done, in less time is ever so prevalent; yet the risk in doing so is sacrificing quality for quantity. The simple truth is you’re not able to perform at 100% capacity, 100% of the time. Vacation time has an indirect correlation with productivity, as it first affects your mood, making you happier and more relaxed.

When you’re happy and relaxed, you’re able to excel at what you do, thus increasing productivity. Another benefit of time off? Those who consistently take vacations are less likely to switch jobs or leave their current employer.

Before your next vacation, remember these simple tips:

  • No working, at all — no checking your email or making calls. Just
  • Avoid work talk — remove your brain, as well as your body from the workplace.
  • Set clear boundaries — let your team know you will be unavailable and are not to be disturbed.
  • Plan in advance — picking your vacation days strategically means you can take time off during downtime in the office.
  • Don’t leave any loose ends — wrap things up at least a day or two in advance of your holiday, so you can have full peace of mind while you’re out of the office.

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Once you’re back in the office, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!

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Vacation Makes You Better at Your Job
Over half of Americans leave vacation days on the table, every year. Yet, taking time off is a necessity of personal happiness and wellbeing. Learn how vacation can make you better at your job AND a happier person.

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