By Cindy Myers, PT, DHS, CEAS II, CFCE
If there’s one thing we can probably all agree on, it’s that people need a vacation every once in a while. Whether it’s a staycation or you’re traveling the world, taking some time off is one of the best ways to recharge and regroup — and prevent burnout at your job.
Unfortunately, lots of people don’t take enough vacation time to get these benefits, and more than half of all working Americans don’t use all the vacation days they’re given. This can be a big mistake, because taking a vacation is one of the easiest — and most fun — ways to take control of your health.
What are the signs I need a vacation? One of the surest signs you need some time off is if you aren’t feeling passionate about your work. If you’ve noticed your passion is low — or that it’s declining steadily — it’s probably time to consider some time off. Also, if you feel any sort of resentment while you’re on the job, that’s another sign. But vacation is one of the best ways to get you back on track to feeling great.
How is vacation good for my physical health? Most people associate vacation with being a time to mentally refocus — but it’s also the perfect time for your body to get healthier, too. When we’re at work, we typically go through a defined set of movements each day, and this can lead to fatigue and even injury if we aren’t careful. But when you use your vacation days to move differently — say taking a walk or shooting baskets — your body will use muscles in an unfamiliar way, which helps them get stronger.
The health benefits of vacation don’t stop there. Regular time off can also reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, which is especially true for people who are overworked. In fact, a recent study of more than 600,000 people found that those who work 55 hours a week or more increase their risk of these two issues by 33% and 13% respectively. That’s no small jump, so it’s critical to keep an eye on how many hours you’re working, and to remember that vacation days will help cut back on these hours.
How can I improve productivity while on vacation?
We all want to be productive, but with work and family responsibilities, sometimes we don’t keep improving and working toward bigger goals. But vacations can give us time to reset our routines and figure out how to improve our productivity. One suggestion you might try is daily stretching. This increases blood flow, helps with relaxation, and is a great excuse to take 15 or 20 minutes of peaceful alone time.
Another thing you can do is try to build short breaks into your day. Believe it or not, getting up and walking around for five or ten minutes once an hour actually improves productivity, so try to do this on your vacation days. This translates really well to work productivity, so once you get back on the job, try to stick with taking these breaks — you might be surprised how much more relaxed you feel.
I’m staying home for vacation — what’s there to do around Hendricks County? So much! Hendricks County is full of amazing trails, forests, parks, and events so you’ll never run out of stuff to do. If you want some more specific ideas your whole family will love, be sure to check out all the fun things going on at Visit Hendricks County.
Taking a vacation is usually easier said than done, and we understand that sometimes, it can be difficult to take time off. But remember that spending some time away from work will benefit both you and your employer, and it will help you be at your best when you’re on the clock.
Interested in even more tips on staying healthy and living your best life? Stay tuned to our blog for the latest health news you and your whole family can use!