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Sometimes, or maybe even often, life can be too much to handle. Stress from work, school, or even just everyday matters can pile up and leave you burnt out. Getting a break by going on a vacation is a great idea, but how often should you take one?
You need to take vacations at least twice a year to maximize their benefits on your well-being. Frequent, short leaves are recommended over a single, long vacation. Also, pleasure and satisfaction from short breaks are generally more effective.
This article will discuss why more frequent breaks are necessary over one grand trip. We’ll also discuss the benefits of going on a vacation and how not going on one will harm you.
Why Multiple Vacations Per Year Are Important
A couple of studies have explored just how impactful vacations are and how long the effects last. At least two of them found that whether you go on a one-week trip or a one-month getaway, the residual high would last for only two weeks at most.
But even if effects are short-lived, a vacation’s positive impacts and the harmful things that it prevents (e.g., shortened mortality), which will expound on later, make it worth the while. But given that duration has no significant impact on these effects, it’s then suggested that two short vacations are better than one since you would get at least two weeks of post-happiness from these two trips.
Also, it was found that if you can make the vacation decisions and do the things you want to do, the more positively impactful a vacation is. Thus, it’s vital to be involved in the planning process to ensure satisfaction.
How Long Should Vacations Be?
Vacation durations vary and often depend on personal factors, such as how many vacation days you have, how long your unpaid and paid leaves are, and how long you can afford them. These constraints ultimately decide how long your vacation should be.
Studies have shown that vacations should last about 7 to 14 days. Vacation satisfaction is most felt during the 8th day. Hence, a one to two-week vacation may be best to feel relaxed. Vacations longer than those have no relevant difference in positive effects.
However, if a week or two of vacation is hard to squeeze in as of the moment, going on a three-day road trip or a long weekend break is still as good as any.
Always take the opportunity to get as much break as you can, whether a day or two or even just a lunch break. It’s a time to recover from stress and workload, vital for health and productivity.
Why Do We Need Vacations?
While vacations seem such a marvelous idea, limitations such as financial capacity and time may lead you to think, ‘Is this really needed?’ If post-break happiness only lasts for a week or two, why even bother?
We need vacations because infrequent breaks can harm our health. It leads to physical and mental burnout due to exhaustion, affecting mortality and long-term health. Also, going on a vacation improves one’s well-being even before, during, and after.
Here are a few compelling reasons why you should take frequent vacations:
You Need To Relax or Reset
We often underscore our need to take a few steps back from stress. Vacation gives us time to relax and detach from the burden of work and other responsibilities. It helps clear our minds and may even help us reset ourselves when we’re feeling lost.
As humans, our capacity is finite. At some point, we’ll feel tired – physically or mentally. Sleep may help us recover for the next day, but at some point, the long-term exhaustion will get to us. A vacation is crucial for us to get back on our feet by then.
Improve Your Health
Mountain-hiking, swimming, and other sports trips can improve health. It gives us the chance to take a break from just sitting around and actually grind our muscles again.
However, even if you’re not the outdoors type, regular vacations are seen to improve one’s health. Indeed, a study from Psychosomatic Medicine shows that annual breaks help reduce mortality and the risks of heart diseases.
You Could Get Better Sleep
Many, especially those who work long hours or have two or more jobs, often lack sleep. Also, even if you work average hours, stress from work may lead you to have trouble sleeping.
Going on a vacation, where you’re far from work and other responsibilities, allows people to flip the stress switch off (even just for a bit), which helps them get better sleep. Sleeping better and longer helps the body recover more efficiently, which leads to greater satisfaction even after vacation.
Looking forward to a vacation is just different from expecting another day at work. It has been shown that planning and preparing for holidays can help induce excitement and happiness, which helps improve people’s mood and wellbeing.
Hence, if you plan to go on a vacation, be involved. Plan what you want to do and make the most out of your budget and time. If going on a local trip is more your thing than going abroad, then do it! Vacation’s don’t have to be necessarily fancy – it has to be something you genuinely enjoy, or else you won’t feel satisfied.
Going on a break is essential to sustain one’s health, wellbeing, and happiness. Two or more vacations a year could help a lot, so take it if you get a chance! It doesn’t have to be a hundred-thousand escapade abroad – it could be a trip around your local town or a fun weekend at an adventure park. As long as you enjoy it, it’ll become a lasting memory.