Summer has come to us, and with it the vacation season. You’re probably counting the days and hours until the start of your vacation and dreaming about the trip you’ve been waiting for almost all year. But are vacations anything more than a short break from work? Is there any benefit to vacations from a mental health standpoint? Why is it important to take a vacation? This week we will talk about the extremely appropriate topic of vacations and their impact on an individual’s mental health. If you haven’t planned some kind of vacation so far, maybe this text will get you going!
Why is it important to talk about the topic of vacations?
Workaholism is becoming an increasingly common problem in society. We often invest so much emotionally and mentally in work, that we forget that sometimes it is necessary to take a break from work. Most of us are probably less and less separating business life from private life, and we often carry our work home. Burnout is also becoming a common occurrence, and more and more people are having problems with chronic stress and physical pain (such as headaches and stomach upsets) resulting from constant exposure to stressful situations. Stress at work is something we cannot avoid, but we can do our best to reduce its impact on us. Research on the American sample shows that as many as 40% of workers see work as extremely stressful, 29% of workers feel that they are under extreme stress at work, and as many as 25% of them consider work to be the main stressor in life. Stress destroys our quality of life, can lead to more severe mental and physical problems, but it also negatively affects our productivity and innovation at work. So we all need a break from time to time during which we will recharge our batteries and relax.
Why are vacations so important?
There are multiple positive consequences of taking a vacation. Vacations are more than a short break from work, and in fact have a number of positive outcomes, both on the physical condition of the individual and on the psyche.
- Vacations increase overall life satisfaction! Workers who take occasional breaks from work are generally more satisfied with life.
- Vacations reduce burnout!
- Vacations have a positive effect on family relationships. Spending time with family in a relaxed atmosphere is essential for strengthening interpersonal relationships and general mental health.
- Vacations increases our motivation, give us time to take a break and “rearrange” things, and return to work full of energy.
- Taking a vacation is associated with an increased general sense of calm and well-being, which reduces the symptoms of chronic stress.
- When we are on vacation, we sleep better and wake up more rested. Poor sleep is often associated with overworking. If we mentally distance ourselves from work from time to time, we will sleep better, which will generally positively affect our well-being.
- Exposure to less stress during the vacation has a positive effect on blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Taking a break and going on vacation increases our learning capacity. When we are rested and in an environment with little stress, our brain functions more efficiently, learns faster and remembers better. Likewise, new experiences increase cognitive flexibility and help develop abstract ideas and imptove creative thinking.
- Vacations “break” the daily routine. Changing routines often gives us a new perspective on life. Through vacation we learn to appreciate things in life that are not part of our job or career.
Why are vacations important to our employers?
While this may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, workers ’vacations are actually good for the organization! Although the organization is left without a worker in the short term and his contribution to the organization, in the long run it will very likely pay off. But why is that so?
- At the vacation we can meet new people, which offers us new opportunities for networking and collaboration! Work is a frequent topic of conversation, even while we are on vacation leave. How often one of the first questions a person we have just met asks us is “And what do you do?”. Any new acquaintance can be a potential opportunity for a new business partner or a new colleague.
- Separation changes perspective! After some time on the vacation the vast majority of workers will enjoy their work more once they return to it.
- If workers feel that the organization cares about them and their vacation, they will value their job more.
- Vacations increase productivity when returning to work.Vacations recharge our batteries, and we return to work in full force and ready to face new challenges.
- Travel helps creativity. If we can afford to travel during the year, we will most likely meet new people and see new things, and we will change our daily routine. This can all lead to new ideas that we can use once we get back to work.
Now that we know why we need vacation, but also why are vacations good for the organization we work in, the question arises how to make the best use of vacation? Not every vacataion is the same, and given the limited time available to us, it is advisable to take some steps to enjoy your free time to the fullest! We will deal with this topic in the following text.
Why Vacations Are Good for Business. HR Payroll Systems. (2020, 18. svibnja). https://www.hrpayrollsystems.net/why-vacations-are-good-for-business/.
White, M. (2021, 30. lipnja). Why Employee Vacations are SOOOO Good for Business and How Employers Can Make Them Happen. Access Development Loyalty Blog. https://blog.accessperks.com/why-employee-vacations-are-so-good-for-business-and-how-employers-can-make-them-happen.
The Importance of Taking Vacation Time to De-stress and Recharge. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. (2020, 3. veljače). https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/importance-taking-vacation-time-de-stress-and-recharge.
Importance of taking vacation. 7 Reasons Why Vacation is Important | Benefits of Taking a Vacation. (n.d.). https://www.allinahealth.org/healthysetgo/thrive/importance-of-taking-vacation.
Castrillon, C. (2021, 23. svibnja). Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2021/05/23/why-taking-vacation-time-could-save-your-life/?sh=4d9ba0d924de.
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