Summer is just around the corner and the warmth of the sun is slowly taking over. You’re probably counting how many more excruciating days you could possibly take before you leave behind the draining office deadlines and escape to the beach.
It is very important to take a break from work. Not only are they good for your health, but they also have positive impacts on your productivity. Research shows that people who go on frequent travel trips experience less stress and more likely to have high levels of energy.
But before you go off to your summer destination, you should probably set how long you’ll spend your vacation. With the health benefits vacations can provide, you may be thinking that the longer you spend getting away from stress, the better. But that may not be the case.
Long vacations have short-lived benefits
People’s enjoyment downgrades as they become accustomed to their holiday lifestyle, which means that there is a limit to how much happiness you can get from your time off.
Recent publications in the Journal of Happiness Studies show that on a long vacation, day seven is not that fun compared to day one because it’s not as exciting. That’s why in general, going away four times a year provides more benefits than you would expect, and going away longer than a few days may provide less or short-lived ones. Spending a few weeks in the same place doing pretty much the same thing may not result in a more enjoyable experience.
Dr. John Mayer, PhD, a consultant at Doctor On Demand, also pointed out that if you only take one long trip each year, you’re only given the opportunity to cherish the benefits once. One long holiday will only give you one chance to regain every ounce of energy that you’ve exerted, trying to get past all those stressful deadlines at work. On that account, cramming it all on one long trip might just get you frustrated in the long run.
Shorter vacations will do the trick
Sure it’s nice to spend a month surfing in Puerto Gallera or exploring the depths of Palawan, but it’s not practical to use up all of your annual leave in one chunk and have zero holidays for the rest of the year.
Taking mini breaks, whether it’s a simple weekend away or four-day adventure, is way better for you mentally, physically, emotionally. The excitement we feel when planning a holiday trip away from routines is proven to keep us motivated in setting reasonable and short-term goals. Completing these goals will eventually make you feel a sense of achievement.
Short mental breaks, like leaving your office to get a quick lunch, are proven to boost human development and increase productivity. This works for short weekend breaks too. Distancing yourself from the pressures your work environment gives you space to feel more refreshed on your return. It is better to clear your mind with short frequent vacations rather than long extended ones. When you take many mini breaks, it gives you the opportunity to reboot your mental, physical, and emotional system and clear space for the next round of work.
Ultimately, whether you take a long or short time off work, getting time away from it will make a positive impact to your mental health and overall well-being. Vacations are coping mechanisms that allows mental space for creativity and clearer decision making. Planning vacations, preparing for it in ways such as buying necessary holiday stuff, and talking about the places you’ve been dying to visit, are simple ways for all of us to achieve the perfect vacation we so rightfully deserve.
Gillespie, C. (n.d.). Here’s Why Taking a Shorter Vacation Is Actually Better for You, According to Psychologists. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/shorter-vacations-better/
Harpaz, Emily Swanson and Beth J. This is the No. 1 thing Americans want to do on vacation. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-summer-vacation-poll-20170621-story.html
Photo credit: Featured image by Laura Hoffmann