When was the last time you took a vacation? Do you feel guilty about relaxing and not thinking about work or the everyday tasks that are waiting for you at home?
According to a survey by Allianz Global Assistance, 135 million Americans have not taken a vacation in the past year, and 42 percent of people say they feel guilty when they have a chance to relax on a beach. A year ago that number was 38 percent, so it’s rising.
“In America, we have such a strong work ethic that we have a hard time justifying allowing ourselves to relax,” says Dr. Susan Whitbourne, a psychology professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst (ironically, reached during her vacation on Cape Cod, Massachusetts).
According to Money, more than 4 in 10 workers say they do not use all of their allotted vacation days, so that means, on average, about eight days of a worker’s vacation are being wasted. And, a survey done by Alamo Rent-a-Car states that even when Americans do take time off, they are still spending time working.
The survey says, “Thirty-five percent of millennials reported that they worked every day of their vacations, and felt less productive when they returned.”
Taking a vacation from work is essential for a person’s well-being. Studies also show that taking an extended vacation is linked with better productivity when a person comes back to work. People who commit to taking vacations on a regular basis are generally happier, healthier, and have better relationships than those who don’t.
An Expedia survey found that 45 percent of Americans agreed that “they come back to work feeling rested, rejuvenated, and reconnected to their personal life” after vacation, and 35 percent said “they return from vacation feeling better about their job and feeling more productive.”
“Vacations should not be considered a luxury – they are a must for our happiness and health in an increasingly stressful world,” says Dr. Leigh Vinocur, the vacation doctor.
Dr. Vinocur gives us five essential reasons why vacations are vital.
- Vacations can make you feel sexier. He says that 80 percent of people who vacation say they have romance in their relationship compared to 56 percent who never find time to vacation.”
- A vacation can make a person happier. Dr. Vinocur says that 76 percent of vacationers come back feeling “very happy and content” compared to the 43 percent of people who don’t.
- Vacations energize you. Vinocur reports that 72 percent of people who take a vacation feel energized and productive compared to the 34 percent who don’t vacation.
- Vacations can make you love your job. The doctor states that 71 percent of people who vacation love their jobs, compared to the 46 percent who never take a vacation and feel dissatisfied.
- Vacations can make you healthier. According to Dr. Vinocur, 56 percent of people who vacation are very healthy and feel good compared to the 28 percent who don’t.
We all need vacation days. According to all the studies, it makes us healthy, happy, content, and more productive at work. Overall, they give us a better, well-balanced life.
If you haven’t taken a vacation in the last year, schedule your vacation today! You’ll come back with renewed energy!
[Photo via Shutterstock]