6 Wellness Benefits of Taking a Break from Work
It's regrettable that we can't take a break from work whenever we want, as it allows our body and mind to refresh and mend.
US workers are only using 77% of their paid time off, and vacation day use is at its lowest point in the past 4 decades.1 It’s regrettable that we can’t take a break from work whenever we want, as it allows our body and mind to refresh and mend.
Let’s review the positive aspects of taking some “me time”:
1. Physical Health
The Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh found vacationing at least twice a year resulted in higher positive emotional outlooks and less depression among more than 1500 study participants. In addition, participants had lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines.2
Multiple studies have shown taking time off is not only good for your health, but also makes you happy. Taking that time improves your overall health risks.
2. Mental Health
Working long hours and multiple days in a row can spur anxiety or panic attacks. Therefore, not giving yourself a mental break can lead to sickness, depression, stress, and even burnout.
When you push yourself through too many hours or days of work, your brain starts to push back. This may cause brain function and responsibilities that you normally perform quickly to become slow and often agonizingly difficult and annoyingly. Taking one day off to break up multiple workdays can generally help you reset mentally and get a clear head.3
3. Personal Relationships
Our family foundation is strengthened when we temporarily abandon our daily activities and focus on fun and laughter. A little rest and relation can help make memories that form traditions and bond us together.
Although your career is paramount, it’s also crucial to work on your relationships. Therefore, allow yourself to take a random 3-day weekend to spend with your family or friends. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.
The rest and mental health benefits from time away will most likely leave you feeling less tired. You’re also more productive when you return to work after taking a day off, according to recent study results.
In the study, 77% of employees who took most of their vacation time were more productive, and if employees started taking more of their available time off to recharge, it would lead to higher levels of job satisfaction (74%) and increased employee engagement at work (67%).4
5. Work-Life Balance
Having a life outside of work with hobbies and other interests is typically viewed as great work-life balance. By doing the things we love, our stress is reduced, we’re more relaxed, and we tend to deal with problems within our job and outside of our workplace with more vigor.
Learning to balance life and work takes time, dedication, hard work, and support, but once you develop a work-life balance, you can enjoy a full life both at work and home.
Everyone needs some alone time, so make sure at least 10 to 30 minutes each day is spent enjoying something you like to do (eg, praying, exercising, reading). When we take “me time,” it not only helps us refocus and gain perspective, but also gets our wheels turning in the direction we’d like our life and career to go.3 It may trigger changes in our life or job and enhance our well-being.
Don’t let burnout rob you of the joy of work and play. Taking time away is important to your everyday living. For the love of God, take some days off.
1. Langfield A. Unused vacation days at a 40-year high. CNBC. cnbc.com/2014/10/23/unused-vacation-days-at-40-year-high.html. Published October 23, 2014.
2. Bialecki M. Numerous health studies prove time off is good for us. Project Time Off. www.projectimeoff.com/research/numerous-health-studies-prove-time-good-us. Published June 23, 2016.
3. Steber C. 6 health benefits of taking time off from work. Bustle. bustle.com/articles/137011-6-health-benefits-of-taking-time-off-from-work. Published January 27, 2015.
4. Bialecki M.Vacation’s impact on the workplace. Project Time Off. www.projectimeoff.com/research/vacation’s-impact-workplace. Published June 23, 2016.