Most of us like to be productive in the workplace, in our careers and even in our responsibilities at home. But are we taking the appropriate amount of time out for ourselves? According to Project: Time Off, many Americans leave vacation days unused, often to be forfeited without rolling over or converting to additional pay and other benefits. A key 2015 study by Project: Time Off found that 55 percent of U.S. workers failed to take all allotted vacation time. Reasons for this varied from financial concerns to worry over appearing replaceable in the eyes of the company. A number of us, it seems, struggle with balancing job dedication and taking time away to kick back, relax and enjoy life – even when our companies give their blessings.
For Health’s Sake, Take Time Off
Using those hard earned vacation days does far more than fill your phone, iPad or computer with fond memories of far away places enjoyed with loved ones. Some research studies suggest that taking time away from work (to actually enjoy yourself, not do more work) may have positive effects on your physical and mental health. Such effects include:
- Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
- Decrease in stress
- Less chance of depression
- Enhanced productivity levels
- Improved attitude towards life
- Greater job satisfaction
The Proof Is in the Planning
Not only does taking a much needed break from work every now and then create a positive ripple in your personal and professional lives, the joyous anticipation of such an event initiates happiness in the days and weeks leading up to your vacation. We all get busy, caught up in our day-to-day routines, meeting those monthly and quarterly objectives, and trying to make it from one stage in our careers to the next. However, vacation days left on the table do your health (and your psyche) no good. You’ve earned them, folks – by all means, use them!