The fast pace of modern day life, the demands of work, social commitments and the laundry list of things we have to do, which even include watching television, leaves us without the time to get away and take a break from our routine.
Going on vacations, even short ones, is a key part of our physical and mental wellbeing. This has been verified by several studies that have found that going away for a few days brings a positive impact on our emotional and physical health and on our work life.
Employees that go on several short trips throughout the year do not only see improvements in the indicators of their wellbeing at work, but also see improvements their productivity.
This is not just a matter of quantity; quality is also important. Vacations should help us escape stress, the routine of work and our worries. Leaving activities, e-mail notices and messages on your cell phone while you are away certainly does not help you disconnect from work. The truth is that even if you do not respond to your messages or engage in any work-related tasks during these days, the mere fact of continuing to be aware of your daily work activities and of the potential problems that may arise, once again triggers your concerns and your stress and does not allow you to truly disconnect. The greater your psychological distance is, the better and more productive you will be when you get back to work.
A study published by the journal Stress and Health reveals that those that take several mini vacations that last between four and five days, instead of long vacations, benefit from better health and a better quality of life. The simple act of planning and anticipating your trip brings you satisfaction that serves as an exceedingly positive benefit for your health.
A study of over 12,000 men conducted by the University of Pittsburgh concluded that those who do not go vacation for at least one week a year are approximately 30% more likely to have a heart attack. A study conducted in 2005 by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who go on vacations at least once every two years are less likely to suffer from depression.