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It’s Time to Get Out of the House (and Vacations Are Healthy)

By Sara Butler

Do You Need a Vacation?

The last two years have been … interesting. And it seems now more than ever people are ready to get back out into the world. I don’t know about you, but for me, “getting back out into the world” means only one thing -- vacation!

There’s something about planning an exotic (or not so exotic) destination that’s invigorating. Or at least interesting in a good way! At this point, just being someplace different is a plus. If you’re trying to talk yourself into finally taking some much-needed time off to relax, or you’re desperately trying to convince your family that it’s time to hit the road, then you should know about all the health benefits that planning and taking a vacation can provide

Here are a few of the health benefits of a vacation -- and signs that you urgently need to take one!

The Health Benefits of a Vacation

Whether you’re into adventurous vacations or you just like to dip your toes in some warm sand, there are definite health benefits to going on a trip, a few of which may surprise you.

  • Better mental health - OK, so an improvement in mental health when on vacation seems like a given. You are getting yourself out of the daily grind, which helps to reduce depression and anxiety. New and exciting places can give you a mental boost that leaves you feeling well-rested and happier.
  • Improved heart health - What? Walt Disney World is good for your heart? While paying for a vacation may cause a few palpitations, taking a vacation is actually good for your heart because it lowers stress. This has a direct impact on your risk of heart attack and heart disease. Thanks, Mickey.
  • It makes you happy - Sure, vacation meltdowns happen. But overall, your brain gets a major boost of happiness-inducing chemicals when you’re making the plans to go on vacation. You can get a major happiness injection for up to two months before you travel, which only continues once you actually go.
  • Improved creativity and productivity - You can improve your job performance with a trip to the Bahamas (or anywhere, really). No, really! Exposing your brain to new things during travel helps to invigorate your mind and let creativity flow. Tell your boss that next time you request time off.

Signs You Need a Vacation

Although vacations can do a lot for you, taking you and yours on a getaway is another story. But just as with other things, your body lets you know when it needs a little rest and relaxation. There are actual physical signs that a vacation is very much needed, so heed these warnings.

  • You feel drained - If you’re feeling totally depleted and don’t have any gas in your tank that can’t be fixed with a good night’s sleep, it’s time for a vacation.
  • You’re moody - Feeling cranky and a bit more sassy than usual is another sign that something has to change. Irritability is not a great state of being, so recognize it in yourself and give yourself time away to reduce your tension and fill your patience tank back up.
  • You can’t think - If you feel as if you’re always losing focus, you may need some rollercoaster or beach time. Feeling overwhelmed can make even the smallest things feel insurmountable and only adds to your stress.
  • Your spark has burned out - If you don’t feel passionate about things anymore or you’ve found yourself not enjoying things you used to, that can be a clear indication that you’ve reached burnout. Making rookie mistakes at the office or feeling like you cannot be productive are clear signs that you need to slow down.
  • You’re too busy - If you think you’re too busy to take a vacation, then taking one should be even more of a priority. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have the time to get away, but that will eventually take its toll. If you feel the world would end without your presence at work, your pot is doomed to boil over eventually. Challenge this thought that you’re too busy and too important to take some time away.

Vacations are awesome, but you don’t have to turn it into a big deal. It’s not necessary to plan a huge trip to a foreign destination, you simply have to go somewhere outside of your daily life. Think about what you would enjoy doing and don’t wait -- make plans to go today. Your health and happiness are worth it! And you can take that to the lake.

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