They say ‘no one is irreplaceable’ and yet some of us get the ‘silent understanding’ that taking a vacation can be frowned upon. How can you?—No one else around you requests a leave, you’re snowed under work errands that never end, 'only you know' how to do them right. Does it sound familiar? If your answer is yes, it’s time you gave yourself a break. You’ve earned it!
So, spread the word: vacation is not only a pleasant experience, but it is also a wellspring of health benefits. Not to mention, it boosts your productivity and work efficiency. We return renewed, full of fresh ideas, ready to conquer the world.
Now let’s have a closer look—why do we need vacations?
Vacation vs. No vacation
Historically, there is a legitimate reason why a mandated paid vacation was deemed important in the first place. Sweden and Germany were ahead of their time giving their workers a seven-week paid vacation back in the beginning of the 20th century!
At some point it became clear that giving employees an authorized time off reawakened them for more productivity at work.
After a vacation people came back with renewed vigor and effectiveness and often showed more loyalty to their employers.
Alternatively, if people worked without a change of scenery for too long, it increased their chance of a faster burnout.
All of it is still relatable, of course. Taking up new activities, exploring the unfamiliar, visiting new places gives us enthusiasm to carry on with more energy.
A different look
One of the reasons to go on vacation is to look at things from another perspective and become more concentrated. When the work stress is left behind—even for a little while—we start to think outside the box. Mind fog is suddenly lifted, and things become clearer. By pressing a pause button, we are able to find long overdue solutions to various problems.
More family time
You can live with someone under one roof and yet go for weeks without really seeing each other, because you’re so caught up in work. And if it’s not your work-related tasks, it can be that you’re worried about your upcoming meeting or a presentation. A vacation helps you let go of pressure and stress and spend more precious time with your friends and family. You can set your priorities straight and brush your work-life balance.
If your colleague became Employee of the Month for working every single day for two years straight, there’s nothing to be impressed with. Simply because it’s not a healthy way to work. Vacations keep you healthy both mentally and physically. It reduces the risk of a heart attack, diabetes and depression. Also, if you have a desk job, you will give your eyes and spine a break.
Pleasure working with you
Vacation is a great incentive that makes us feel valued. When we see that our right to a time off is appreciated, our work environment becomes much more attractive to us.
A chance to travel
Of course, one of the best ways to spend your time off is to take a trip. Travel is great for improving your future work performance. These simple tips will help you stay more present and take the most out of your vacation:
1. Look up
Take time to observe things. Take a look around instead of brooding over your work-related concerns. After all, it is a very short break, so use it for your benefit. Take it all in: check out the splendid architecture, explore local cuisine, art and culture.
2. NO PHOTOS
Don’t try to document everything and just Be for a while. Start thinking of your trip in terms of your experience—and how much you can take away from it—rather than the number of ‘likes’ on your Instagram page.
3. Just enjoy yourself
Slow down for the sake of slowing down. How often do you do that? Take a sip of cappuccino in a local cafe instead of visiting the 56th attraction in your guide book. Enjoy your own company and just people watch. Get off the beaten track and explore your surroundings. Taking a detour from the familiar will help you get to know yourself better.
4. Good to meet me
Travel makes you more self-sustainable. Even if you go somewhere with a trusted companion, try to find some ‘me’ time. Check in with yourself to see what your aspirations and future plans are. You can meditate or write in a journal to become more present.
5. Make new friends
Talk to locals. Social interaction is what sticks in our memory more vividly than any other experience. It has the power to change the way we perceive other people and even ourselves.
By spending time away from work you will instantly understand why vacation is so important. It helps us become a more decisive and confident version of ourselves. We are given a gift of time to reflect on life, take better care of ourselves and become more satisfied with what we have.