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The Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Jun 05, 2020 3 min read Mike DiChiara

Key Takeaways

  • Stepping away from work can improve both your health and happiness.
  • You’ll sleep more soundly with a clear head.
  • Taking time off can make you more productive.

 

Coronavirus has taken a toll on all of us. Yet even though we may not be able to travel much (or at all), we should still find time to take a vacation. Whether you’re staying home or road tripping, time off from work is vital to both your physical and mental health. It offers you a chance to recharge your batteries and clear your head, which is a necessity in any industry. In addition to being enjoyable, making time for yourself benefits your health and wellness.

If you’re an independent worker, you may feel as though you can only take minimal time off. After all, you want to remain available for contract work and to avoid missing opportunities to claim big projects. However, there are benefits to stepping away from your work life, even during a pandemic.

 

 

The head and the heart

While taking a break is a good way to clear your mind, it can also do wonders for your heart. Those who’ve vacationed (or staycationed) frequently in the past year have a lower chance of developing risk factors for cardiovascular disease[1]. Simply put: The more you decompress from work stress, the more likely you are to avoid heart issues. Also, neglecting to take vacation for consecutive years can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

With both your head and your heart in good shape, you can return to your projects with renewed vigor. With the country beginning to reopen in the wake of the pandemic, if you’re overdue for a vacation, now’s an excellent time to start booking.

 

Disconnect and drift away

Even if you’re not sitting at a computer or actively working on a project, you may still be connected to work on your phone or tablet. This can seriously hinder your ability to enjoy life outside your profession. Taking time to step away from your screen and your projects is a great way to de-stress, and live free of deadlines and other responsibilities. It help you return with a clear head. However, if you must check into the office, schedule a 15-minute session once a day — and leave work behind once it’s over.

This can also lead to better sleep — a vacation can correct the habits that often lead to restless sleep, such as prolonged work hours or using mobile devices before bed[2]. As a bonus, a full night’s sleep prevents issues such as impaired memory, making vacation a vital element for your health.

 

A well-oiled machine

Regardless of the type of work you do, you’ll want to be at your productive peak for each project. However, this desire to always perform at 100% — as wonderful a trait as it is — can take a toll on your mind and body. As with everything else, doing too much can cause you to burn out. If you take the time to let your mind and body rest, whether you stay home or go on a road trip, you can add some power to your drive and determination, and resume your productivity with a fresh start.

It’s also important to plan your time away in advance. Having something to look forward to could provide some respite if you begin to feel overwhelmed by work. Even if you can’t find the time for a weeklong vacation, long weekends or short three-to-four-day excursions can be enough to clear your head and prevent you from drowning in a sea of projects.

 

 

What you can do next

Mark your calendar and start planning which days you want to take for yourself. Even if you’re just staying home, taking a few days off work can provide some much needed peace of mind. If you haven’t taken some time to yourself in a while, use your vacation days soon — your health and your career will thank you.

If you secure tomorrow, you can enjoy today.

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