As we approach the summer months, many of us look forward to a much-needed vacation. However, according to a survey conducted by Glassdoor in 2017, most Americans who are given paid vacation by their employers don’t take all of it, and about 9% take none at all. Vacation is crucial to maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Whether your vacation of choice is a beach, National Park, or even just a week at home, this time off can provide significant benefits to your physical and mental health.

We all experience stress in our daily lives. Long-term stress can lead to increased blood pressure, and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Vacation gives you time to decompress and break up the stressful cycle of your daily routine. Taking a vacation has also been linked to a lower risk for heart disease.

Vacations can also help improve your relationships. When families vacation together, the shared experience, leads to better communication and togetherness, which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

Many Americans report feeling guilty taking too much vacation time, and feel that they will be neglecting their responsibilities by taking time off. However, vacation time can significantly improve your performance at work. One of the biggest secrets to better productivity is refueling. Time away from daily work and home stresses can help increase productivity, morale, and employee retention in the workplace. Check out our tips below for planning your next stress-free vacation!

Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

  • Plan Ahead – Avoid worries about transportation or accommodations on your trip by planning the details ahead of time
  • Make a To Do list for your return – The last thing you want to do on vacation is try to remember everything you have to do when you come back. Before you leave, make a list for yourself so that you can easily pick up where you left off when you return.
  • Unplug – Don’t make yourself too reachable! While you may feel the urge to check your work email while you’re gone, try your best to be present during your vacation.

Sources: Huffington Post, American Heart Association. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.