When was the last time you went on a vacation? If you have to pause and think about the answer, you are already in troubled waters! If the last vacation you took was ages ago, I feel bad for you. Because research and studies have shown that working continuously, without going on a real vacation, can actually take a serious toll on ones mental and physical health. No matter how much you love your job, no matter how much you want to climb up the corporate ladder, no matter how passionate you are about your work assignments, you absolutely do need a break from it all. Please don't tell me you travel everyday! From home to office and back! (rolls eyes!)
To put things into perspective, if you dont go on vacation for a year, if you dont travel out of the 365 days allotted to you by the Gregorian calendar hanging on your wall, heres what happens:
How it affects you physically:
- Data collected from the Framingham study (it is a long-term, ongoing cardiovascular study) showed that female homemakers who took a vacation once every six years or less had nearly twice the risk of suffering from heart attacks or developing fatal heart problems. As compared to this, women who took a vacation atleast twice a year had lower risks of developing heart problems.
- In a 2012 review of 50 years of research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was found out that a 10 hour or more workday increased the chances of people facing coronary heart issues by 80%, in both, men and women.
How it affects you mentally:
- Impending deadlines, work pressure and gruelling work hours are known to affect our mental health. In 2012, based on the data from the Whitehall II Project (it collects information about British civil servants), the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health figured out that people who worked more than 11 hours a day were more than twice as likely to have a major depressive episode, as compared to those who worked 7-8 hours a day. To counter this finding, a research conducted by the Uppsala University, Sweden diagnosed that people who take vacations may boost the mental health of themselves along with those around them!
- If you are travelling to serene locations or are going on a yoga retreat, it is bound to bring peace to you. This contributes to overall mental health.
- For people who dont travel inspite of wanting to, maybe you have a lot of responsibilities, maybe you feel travel is expensive, maybe you want to but dont know where to start, you now know what physical and mental problems your future may hold. Why not take a break for a while, let go of your responsibilities, loosen your pocket a bit, plan your itineraries wisely and travel.
In conclusion, if you want to stay healthy, physically and mentally, pack your bags and travel. Travel far and wide, explore beautiful locales or go on a weekend trip to Disneyland with your kids. Youll come back refreshed and rejuvenated.