After reading that headline, your immediate response might be, “that’s absurd, of course, you should take your vacation days.” Well, why aren’t you? In 2018, a total of 768 million days went unused in the US. Of those, 236 million were completely surrendered. That is just painful to read if you ask me.
Think of me as your fairy godmother asking you, so submit your paid-time-off (PTO) and go on a vacation, even if you do a staycation instead.
It’s Good for Your Health
You don’t need to be a scientist to figure this one out. Whenever you’re on vacation, you feel instantly better. One study found that vacations are fantastic for relieving stress. The usual headaches, migraines, and back pain complaints went away for as much as five weeks after taking a vacation. Talk about an effective solution. Not to mention, multiple studies have linked taking time off from work to a lesser risk of heart disease.
If you don’t know this yet, overworking can lead to obesity, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and strokes. All of these stress-related illnesses can silently mess up with your health, science says so.
You’ll Be a Better Worker
I don’t know about you, but vacations are recharging for me. And, you’re talking to a workaholic, production-driven, side-hustler, crazy woman here. One study found that for each extra 10 hours of vacation time an employee took, their end-of-year performance ratings improved by 8%.
Having a change of scenery or a break from the routine can help you change your perspective, boost your creativity, and promote clarity. Even one day of decompressing gives you that recharge needed to come back to work refreshed.
It’s the Best Way to Prevent Burnout
By now, we know that every 1 in 5 “highly engaged” employee experiences high levels of burnout. While you might try yoga to prevent burnout, those effects are not as intense as taking a day off. Chronic levels of stress at work can lead to low performance, fatigue, and disengagement, and that’s not even considering the effects it has on your health. Taking a vacation will help you reassess your work-life balance and maintain a level of clarity to help you feel more balanced.
There you go, these are three very valid reasons, with research to back me up, of why you should always use all your vacation days. So, if you failed to do so this year, don’t despair. Next year gives you 365 opportunities to submit your PTO.