Flip flops, hat, bag, and sunglasses on a beach.

January 30th is National Plan for Vacation Day, with the intention of more Americans using their paid time off. Many of these days go unused, unfortunately. So in today’s blog, we’ll be explaining how vacation is not only good for you, it’s also good for your career, and your health!

It Gives You Something to Look Forward To

For starters, having a vacation planned gives you something to look forward to on the calendar. So even if your days at work are long, you know you have something planned down the road that you can get excited about. This helps the days go by, and makes the passing time feel positive. Instead of getting stuck in the monotony of work day in and day out, you can look forward to sitting on a beach or visiting those you care about.

It Helps Prevent Burnout

Even if you look forward to your work every day, it’s entirely possible to get burnt out. Whether or not you love your work, you may still be overworked sometimes. Vacation gives you the option of hitting the pause button, and taking some time for yourself. This will keep you from getting burnt out. If you keep working for weeks and months without having a break, it can be challenging to bring the same passion and fire to your work every day.

It Keeps You From Getting Sick (From Stress, Frustration, Lack of Sleep, etc.)

Every job comes with stress, and vacation helps you to get free from all of that. Although it is only a brief reprieve, it makes a huge difference. Not only does it keep your stress levels down, it also keeps you healthy. Getting out of that stressful environment enables you to sleep better, and recharge. Taking vacation has also been linked with decreasing the odds of heart disease! Just breathing different air for a few days can make a big difference.

It Helps You Sleep

One of the big pluses of returning to work from vacation is an improved sleep pattern. Research has shown that people typically sleep better on vacation, and that effect lingers even after you have returned. You’re significantly more likely to go into a deep sleep each night, which means you will be more energetic at work.

It Encourages Creativity

When you’re looking at the same work day in and day out, it’s no surprise that you may tire of it, and lose that creative spark. However, when you step away from it for longer than a weekend, you can come back with new ideas. We are also our most creative when not stressed or extremely busy, so vacation is a great time to think and ponder.

It Gives You a New Perspective

Stepping away from work has many benefits, one of the largest ones is a new perspective. When work isn’t in your mind every day, it’s possible to realize many things you wouldn’t have while in the thick of it. Coming back from work you may realize how much you enjoy it- something that is hard to notice when it’s all you do. Alternatively, you may come back and realize that this isn’t what you want to do anymore. Either way, vacation will give you a valuable new perspective on everything.

It Helps You Reconnect With Those Important to You

One of the biggest benefits to vacation is the opportunity it gives you to reconnect with those you are closest to. It’s too easy to de-prioritize those important connections when you are caught up in work. However vacation gives you the chance to reconnect with those people in your life. Whether you go on vacation with them, or use the time to visit them, it will help you realize how important those connections are. The right people in your life will also make you happier, and more positive.

It Improves Your Productivity

Oddly enough, taking vacation makes you more productive upon returning. That productivity also isn’t just linked to the prep time before, or the catch up after. Having the time to recharge allows you to approach work with a new vigor that makes you more effective. So while taking the vacation may set you back on some work, your increased efficiency will make up for it.

It Will Make You Happy

Most importantly, taking a vacation will make you happy. Every life is improved by happiness. A vacation will improve your mental health, and help you be a more positive person when you return to work. This may be the most straightforward benefit, but it is also potentially the most important!

You’ve Earned It

Lastly, one of the best reasons to take a vacation is because you’ve earned it! Almost every company offers a compensation package that includes paid time off or vacation days. If you’ve been giving your all at work, you’ve more than earned the right to take some time off. As you’ve probably discovered from reading the above reasons, it will also make you a better employee. Although that may be a hard case to make to your manager, you’ve earned that vacation!

Each year, millions of days of vacation and PTO go unused. Not only does this keep you from using a valuable benefit given to you by your company, it also keeps you from being happier, healthier, and more productive. So while you may feel selfish for wanting to take some time off, don’t! It not only benefits you, but it also benefits your employer. We encourage you to begin planning time off for this year so you can begin experiencing the positive impacts of it!