Taking time off from your daily responsibilities is stressful to think about. How will your work manage without you? What about household chores stacking up? The list goes on and on. Because of that stress, many American’s don’t take a summer vacation or any holiday for that matter. Other countries offer a certain number of mandatory days off. Unlike those countries, American’s aren’t given a certain amount of days off per year. Experts are learning that this can have some severe consequences.

Physical Health Risks

People who don’t take vacation time are at a higher risk for heart attack. Men are 30% more likely to have a heart attack while women sit at a staggering 50% increased risk. This risk can mainly be attributed to stress. The stress of your day to day life is continuously building, and without a break, it eventually overflows. People who take vacations are generally less stressed and pay more attention to their wellbeing. This means more frequent check-ups with a physician, healthier eating, and regular exercise.

Mental Health Risks

Stress not only affects your physical health but your mental health too. High levels of stress are associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. By taking a vacation and lowering your stress levels, you’re making yourself a happier person! Taking vacation time improves employee morale in the workplace, which in turn improves productivity. Many employers argue that they don’t offer vacation time because they can’t afford to, but more productive employees make the company more money!

Setting an Example

One reason why many of us don’t take vacations is that it isn’t normal in American culture. Your parents and their parents likely didn’t take vacations, so it seems odd for you to do so. By breaking that cycle and allowing your children to watch you sit back and relax, you’re getting a better example than your parents were able to fix. Explain to your family that physical and mental health is far more critical than another stressful day at the office.
Taking a vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. Find a location and time that fits into your budget and enjoy your break! Remember, you can’t be working while you’re away on vacation. That means no business calls or emails during your days off. To see the benefits of taking a summer vacation, it has to be a vacation!