5 Reasons Why Vacations Should Be Mandatory

By on June 10, 2013

Why Vacations Should Be Mandatory

The average number of vacation days for an American worker is 12 days, a number that has gone down by 2 days in the last year. You would think that there would be a marked increase in the number of vacations booked, but the truth is, more Americans took less of their time off citing ‘budget' being the main hinderance for getting away. This is an outright travesty, for a number of reasons. Though most of us put an average of 42 hours per week on the books, the truth is, the work day never works out to be that short.

There is always a reason to come in early, and some sort of crisis that keeps us late, and in the meantime, our ‘vacation days' are used up by the illnesses we contract while we're slaving away! It's all a vicious cycle that needs to end. Life shouldn't be all work, and vacations should be mandatory. Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why:

1)   It's Good For Your Health

How do you feel when you think about work? Do you start to feel tense? Does your heart start to race a little? Do you feel anxious? For many of us, work represents stress, chaos and pressure, and if you are feeling these things 365 days of the year, save for a couple of national holidays, you put yourself at risk for depression, anxiety disorder, sleeping disorders, and puts you at risk for a compromised. We're all so busy moving a million miles an hour in one direction, focused on keeping a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and new duds on our bodies, that we see time off as waste. Taking time off, if only to have a ‘staycation', gives your body and mind the opportunity to reset.

2)  A Change of Scenery

We've all been there. We get sucked into the mundanity of life, and everything starts to look and sound the same. It's difficult to always be constantly engaged in what we're doing, and when we're not, the boredom sets in. Break up the boredom by actually taking a break! Who wants to stare at the same computer screen, work on the same files, stare up at the same clock and take lunch with the same people every single day for an entire year with little or no breaks in between. C'mon!

3)  They Can Help You Repair Relationships

Whether it's a strained friendship, marriage, or family dynamic, getting away from it all is not an instant fix for problems, but it takes everyone away from all the stress from being home, and gives everyone a fresh new perspective. Vacations (or even stay-cations) can be a means to start over, build new bonds, create new promises to one another, as well as create new traditions. Time off on your own is great, but so to is spending time away with the ones you love.

4)  Vacations Make You Better at Your Job

Study after study has proven that employees who who take regular vacations are far more efficient at work. Time off is an excellent motivator for anyone, and upon returning from time away, you're refreshed, renewed and full of new ideas. Regular vacations, especially when broken up several times over the year, prevent people from falling ill due to being overworked. The healthier you are, the happier you are, which means your productivity skyrockets, which eventually means your pay cheques get fatter! It's all about looking at the big picture. Just think of time away from the desk as a career boost.

5)  Vacations Give You the Perfect Reason to Unplug

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, personal emails, work emails, voicemails, we are plugged into life in every which way. And while there are plenty of people willing to spend the better part of their vacations attached at the hip to their smart phones and laptops, time away is the ultimate reason not to be! This may sound like a bit of a stretch, but if you're away from your desk physically, why not be away from it electronically? And if unplugging is truly difficult for you, head for a destination that's off the grid.

Jordana Manchester
Jordana Manchester
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Jordana is an award nominated freelance travel and fashion writer, a former model, an anthropology student and photographer. After spending a year abroad working with lions in Zambia, trekking through the jungles of Sumatra and wandering medieval castles in Portugal, she settled down in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She makes use of her eclectic background by incorporating her infatuation with fashion and style, her obsession with xenophilia, and her obvious love of wayfaring, into every piece she writes.

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