Aloha and Happy New Year!
It is the beginning of the new year, which is usually the time when we make our new year’s resolutions. With health and wellness being in primary focus for the last two years, it is common for us to set up goals like improving our diets, losing some weight, or exercising more. These are all great, no doubt about that, but one important resolution that can significantly increase your overall well-being often gets overlooked: taking more vacations!
According to statistics, Americans only use 50% of vacation time allotted to them and are one of the most over-worked nations in the world. While pursuing higher productivity can bring more income, it takes a high toll on other parts of our lives like health, relationships, and, ironically, productivity! So, why are vacations so important? We explore it in this blog post.
Benefits of Vacationing
Vacations improve physical health
We all know by now that chronic stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems associated with a so-called metabolic syndrome. Taking regular vacations could help reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome – a cluster of health issues including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. These symptoms raise the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. In one study, researchers found that those who vacationed more frequently were less likely to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Notably, the risk went down by a quarter with each additional vacation taken. Overall, people who take more yearly vacations are less likely to die from any cause, including heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Vacations improve mental health and help reduce stress
Chronic exposure to stress can also alter your brain structure and bring on anxiety and depression. When you take a vacation, feelings of calm arise and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure. Taking time off helps reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments they associate with anxiety.
Vacations increase mindfulness
Another benefit of changing your environment and breaking the routine is that it makes you feel more present and stimulated. One study has shown that meditation and vacations appear to have overlapping effects. The report found that both meditation exercises and vacationing were associated with higher levels of well-being and increased mindfulness.
Vacations boost happiness
Research shows planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip.
Vacations increase mental motivation and creativity
Many who return from vacation are more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and cause memory problems. Taking time off can be like getting a tune-up for the brain, improving your mental health and cognition. Additionally, when our brains are exposed to new languages, new sights, new sounds, and new cultures, it revitalizes our minds and boosts our creativity in the long run.
Vacations improve sleep
Lack of sleep is a common complaint – often stemming from the fact that we have too much on our minds. Researchers say that time off from work can help interrupt the habits that disrupt sleep, like working late into the night or checking your cell phone before bed. Another reason your sleep improves while on holiday and extends after your return is that a new bed helps you dissociate from your negative sleep patterns back home.
Vacations improve relationships
Spending time enjoying life with family and loved ones can keep relationships strong. One study found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages, and we all know the saying: Happy wife, happy life! In addition, vacations create opportunities for families and couples alike to really be present for each other, bond and spend quality time together.
Vacations decrease burnout and increase the payout
Employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
Research has found that workers who take more vacation time consistently receive better scores on their end-of-the-year performance reviews. The boost is nearly 10 percent! Compared to workers who didn’t take time off, vacationers also tend to be happier with their jobs and stick around long-term.
Vacations Can Make You a Better Boss
Vacation benefits are not only reserved for employees. Bosses need them more than anyone else. Nearly 85 percent of executives surveyed for a study said that they had canceled a vacation because they couldn’t get away from work. In the long term, this kind of behavior hurts the company. When bosses take time off, they return with more creativity and can think about the company’s future more clearly.
We hope that we inspired you and motivated you to start planning your next vacation now! But if you are still having thoughts like “I just can’t take any time off work now” or “Vacations are too expensive,” think about how much you, your family, and, yes, your work will benefit from it.
Self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity, and sometimes you just have to recharge your batteries. And the more you put in, the more you have to give to others. So, say hello to a healthier, happier, and more productive life, and book your tickets now!
Save on your Hawaii vacation rental
Remember, you can always save 10% on your vacation rental when you book direct with us and mention “Aloha escape” in your reservation.
We hope to see you soon – a hui hou!