According to three separate studies, two out of three working Americans haven’t used all their vacation time. Why? One big reason is the stress many feel following trying to catch up on their workload! As a nation, we’re still not there yet when it comes to recognizing vacations are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Even travel site Orbitz launched a “Take Vacation Back” ad campaign that included a “vacation bill of rights” that has “no vacation day shall go untraveled” on the list. Cynical types might say, “Well, of course they are encouraging people to travel since that’s how they make their money.” Yet, Orbitz is giving you healthy advice by encouraging you to pack your bags and leave tonight. Here’s why this professional speaker agrees:
- Down time, play time, sit on your butt and do nothing time will actually improve your productivity. Research shows performance (alertness and reaction times) improves 82% while on vacation, and remains at a 25% higher level after return.
- Your sleep quotient goes up. Prior to a vacation most people’s deep sleep quotient is around 6% which is why we’re groggy, irritable and reaching for caffeine. On vacation? Research shows deep sleep increases to 20% and again lasts following your return to reality.
- Priceless memories are made. My siblings and I still talk about the times we were shoved in the back seat of a green Country Squire Station Wagon for hours on end as Dad would whip past the only exit for another 89 miles and Mom would pull out the roll of Lifesavers every hour on the hour. Your workload is always going to be there in today’s new normal. The same can’t be said for those you love.
And if you go, leave technology behind to return refreshed, re-invigorated and re-energized! Another study showed just 5 minutes of distraction (checking emails, text messages, voice mail, etc.) took 5 hours to get back to vacation mentality.
On a budget? Choose a Stay-cation instead but stay away from your at home “to do” list.
Perhaps no one will read this blog because instead they are taking advantage of this long weekend and on vacation. If you are, ready, set, GO!