Feeling overwhelmed by work, or feeling like your work-life balance is out of whack? Have you skipped out on holiday plans this year? If so, you are not alone…but you may want to know there are many health benefits to taking time away from work and going on holiday!
The health benefits of taking a holiday...
Improved physical health
Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women. Taking a holiday every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
Improved mental health
Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it could not if it were still under pressure.
One study found that three days after a holiday, subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep and mood had improved, compared to before their holiday. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their holiday.
Increased mental power
Upon returning from holiday, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.
Improved familial relationships
Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong.
Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Trip planning alone helps boosts happiness
Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from actually planning the trip itself. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the holiday!
The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, perspective and can give us the break we need to return to our lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.