When was the last time you took a vacation? We’re not talking about a long weekend away from work to tackle a few home projects, or a business trip you spent connected to your laptop or smartphone, but a work-free vacation for relaxing and fun. If it’s been awhile since you‘ve had a much needed getaway, it is time to start planning. In case you need a little convincing, here are a few reasons why vacations directly correlate to your happiness.
Planning a Vacation Makes You a Happier Person
It seems to be common sense that some sun and a little extra sleep is the recipe for increased happiness, but as it turns out, the planning itself is a big part of what makes a vacation so special. According to the Applied Research in Quality of Life, anticipating how exciting and memorable your vacation is going to be increases your happiness during the weeks or even months leading up to your trip. In order to maximize the happiness of your experience, researchers suggest beginning to plan your vacation several months out. Spend time enjoying the process of the planning, purchasing books, and browsing planning websites online.
Leaving Home Makes You a Happier Person
Any time off of work is good, but not all vacations result in the same level of happiness. While a staycation is a great idea if travel isn’t in your budget, a vacation that involves travelling far away from home provides an escape from reality and is shown to increase happiness. If possible, plan to travel a considerable distance from your home. Experience a new location and get a break from the demands of your everyday life.
Time Off Work Makes You a Happier Person
Devoted employees have a difficult time stepping away from their work and relying on their coworkers to carry their workload while they are away. Even though employees may struggle with feelings of guilt for taking a week or more off of work, time off of work actually makes you a happier person and a better employee when you return to work. In fact, one study showed that people who vacation are less stressed in general, and their happiness spreads to all the people they come in contact with—even strangers on the street—which has a positive impact on the well-being of humanity. Because of this, researchers suggest employers encourage all of their employees to use up their vacation time each year.
Vacations Create Memories, and Reminiscing Makes You Happier
Vacations are great, but it can be difficult to head home and adjust back to normal life once your trip is over. That’s alright, since once the initial shock of being back to work and other responsibilities wears off, you will look back fondly at your vacation. As you get further away from your vacation, the memories you created with the people you love while experiencing a new place, will serve as a source of happiness for years to come.
Vacations are Linked to a Longer Life and Decreased Depression
Everyone wants to live a longer and healthier life. While long workdays and a stressful work life can be hard on our health, both physical and mental, vacations seem to help reverse those effects. Anecdotal evidence suggests that regular vacations and time off of work is related to living a long life and having decreased depression.
Vacations Bond You With Your Loved Ones
We all aspire to spend plenty of time connecting with our significant others, children, and friends. Unfortunately, the demands of our day-to-day lives can make it difficult to bond as often as we would like. Our children have school and after school activities like sports or competitive academics, while our careers and personal obligations take up much of our week. A vacation is the perfect way to get away from those responsibilities and connect with the people we care about the most.
Increased happiness can make handling the day to day of your life more enjoyable, improving your health and strengthening your bonds with the people you love the most.