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Taking a Day Off Work for Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Health

You have likely heard the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Well, I don’t know about dull, but I can tell you that all work and no play probably makes Jack a tired boy!  There are many reasons why people may not be using their vacation days to take a break from work.  Perhaps their employer disapproves or maybe one project rolls into another and there never seems to be the “right” time to take a day off.  In addition, advanced technology allows people to work even when they are not “at” work.  But too much work without a break can have detrimental effects on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 

Taking a day off is good for you!  Utilizing time off to rejuvenate has many positive effects leading to a happier, healthier you.  In fact, a day or two away from work can actually be beneficial for business because a healthier, happier you will do a better job.

Good physical health is vital to job performance.  If you do not feel well, you likely are not going to be as focused on work.  Research on the effects of rest and relaxation, and especially on the effects of a day off or more, on heart health are convincing. A HEART HEALTH STUDY conducted in Finland found that those who took more vacation days had much healthier hearts.  In addition, the American Medical Association published a study that found that men who more frequently took a day off were 32% less likely to experience complications due to heart disease compared with those who did not take days off.  Another long-term study found similar results in women.

Here are five other ways that your overall health will benefit from taking a day or two off work:

  1. Mental Reset – Give your brain some time to relax and reset.  When you are constantly “on” at work your brain gets fatigued…and may shut down on you, making it more difficult for you to complete tasks to the best of your ability.
  2. Increased Production – When you return to work after some time off, you will feel re-energized and ready to get the job done
  3. Work/Life Balance – The goal should be to “work to live”, not to “live to work”.  Even if you love your job and it is the most important part of your life, if it is the ONLY thing in your life it can become drudgery. Taking a break to enjoy family time, hobbies and/or travel will create balance in your life.
  4. Rekindling Relationships – Have your relationships suffered from you and/or your partner working all the time?  Personal relationships are fundamental to a happy, healthy life.  Taking a day off every now and then will give you an opportunity to nurture those relationships.
  5. Reset Your Focus – Have you ever found yourself sitting at your desk at work in a daze?  Continuous work without a break can lead to cloudy thinking.  Resting your body, brain and soul will allow to reset your focus and will lead to you being more productive at work.

The bottom line is…do not let those vacation days go to waste. If you have unused vacation days start using them!  You will be happier, healthier, and more productive in the long run!

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