Everyone Needs a Vacation Every Now and Then


I don’t know about you but every now and then I need a vacation…from work, from classes, housework, (insert any number of things here), etc. For some it’s the grind of the day-to-day and for others it’s just the time of year but everyone needs a vacation…even you. And below I’ll tell you why.

If you’re like me, you like..NO…LOVE vacations. I love being on vacation, I love thinking about vacation, I love talking about vacations and I love planning vacations. I love watching my kids experience new things and places. Here’s a picture of my family last year down the shore in Ocean City, New Jersey.

Jeff Anderson Photography

The Mullen Family courtesy of Jeff Anderson Photography

Many Americans (30%) did not use all their vacation days according to a 2009 International Vacation Deprivation Study. The 2013 study stated that American’s had 577 million unused days. Why is it so hard for us to go on vacation? Time away from work and vacations are important. There is a reason many of us get vacation days as a part of our benefits package at our jobs.

Why are vacations important you ask? Here is a list of 6 reasons you MUST take a vacation:

  1. To have some time to recharge. The fact is America is a society of workaholics. Employees report they are overworked and over-stressed. The number of hours a typical American works continues to rise.  Employees are afraid to take a vacation. They are afraid they will miss out on something at work, that their responsibilities will pile up, that they will become irrelevant. BUT if you work and work and work with no vacation or time off you will become burned out and less productive. Taking a vacation will give you time to recharge your batteries and you will become happier and more productive at work. [Tweet “If you work with no vacation or time off you will become burned out and less productive. “]
  2. To have some time to disconnect. Unfortunately, in the world we live in now everyone is connected all the time. Connected to email, social media, etc. It really is unhealthy. We need time to shut it all off and take a break. Taking time to disconnect has a lot of benefits. Check out this great article on 7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find SpaceAdditional Reading: Why you should limit your social media AND How to limit your social media
  3. To have some time to reflect. Reflection can help you take stock of your life. Where you are and what you’re doing. You can learn from both you successes and your mistakes through reflection. Reflection can give you clarity…and who doesn’t need more clarity.
  4. To have some time to rest and relax. Just taking some time off from the day-to-day can clear your mind. In my opinion a vacation should include no work, no to-do list, no meetings, and no phone (unless it’s an emergency). It should be about resting and relaxing your mind, body and soul.
  5. To have some time to reconnect. Are there people in your life you need to reconnect with? Family? Friends? I know when I go on vacation it is not only about getting away but also about spending quality time with my wife and sometimes my extended family. Go on vacation and reconnect with those you love. It’s important. [Tweet “Go on vacation and reconnect with those you love. It’s important.”]
  6. To have some time to just be happy. Being on vacation should be a happy time. In addition to being on a vacation, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life,  just by planning a vacation will have a large boost on your happiness. Also, the anticipation of a vacation will increase your happiness for 8 weeks.

After all this you have no reason not take a vacation. I know going on a vacation is a privilege and one that some take for granted.  Do your best with what you have. If all you can afford is a stay-cation then do it. If you only have 3 or 4 days vacation leave then use it. There are so many reasons and benefits to take a vacation. Life is not all about work.[Tweet “Life is not all about work. “]

What’s your favorite vacation? Why benefits do you see from taking a vacation?