By Etheline Desir | Desir Group | LeadershipBrief.com
In a recent study by Travel Association, 80% of employees surveyed said if they felt fully supported and encouraged by their boss, they would take more time off. Are you encouraging your direct reports to take planned uninterrupted vacations? Are you creating a culture where employees understand the intrinsic benefits of quality time away from the office?
Considering that summer is almost over, have you taken a real vacation, or have you skipped out on vacation plans this year, again? Typically, we take a few days here and there, but research has shown that intentional vacation is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
According to Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP of Allina Health, taking vacations:
Improved Physical Health: Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
Improved Mental Health: Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
Increased Mental Power: Upon returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.
Research has proven that intentional vacation is not a luxury, it is a necessity!
Decreased Burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Boosts Happiness: Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!
Improved Familial Relationships: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, perspective and give us the break we need to return to our lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle the challenges.
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