Taking a Vacation Is Actually Good for Your Health

Person on Vacation

Vacations are wonderful because they offer us time to relax and get a new perspective on things. Yet,many of us don’t take this important break from our work routines. The U.S. Travel Association reports that 52% of employees do not use all of their vacation days. 

While it may seem like a vacation is just a luxury that we can put off, a new study found that taking time off regularly can actually improve our health. People who took more vacation time in the past year had a lower number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol. These are also risk factors for other diseases like stroke and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the more vacation people took, the more of these risk factors were reduced. 

A vacation is a time to put away the computer and allow ourselves time to do things we enjoy. It’s a time to try to calm anxious thoughts and lower stress levels. Unfortunately taking a long extravagant vacation somewhere exotic is expensive and not always practical. The good news is you can take a mental vacation anytime. Best of all, you don't even have to go far to experience this sense of calm. A relaxing staycation could also do the trick.

Some ways you can make your weekend or day off feel like a vacation is by putting your phone away, going to a new restaurant, camping out in your backyard, or doing a new activity you've always wanted to do. Although you won't be in Hawaii, small changes can give your mind a break. Doing something different from your usual routine can make life a bit more exciting.

Now that it’s summer, try to find ways to make time for a vacation.  Whether you're headed out of town or sticking around, making it feel like a vacation is important. It's all about the mindset. So, enjoy time to check out mentally for a bit, knowing it will be good for your health.