Take a vacation, it’s good for you

Vacations give you the opportunity to take time to relax, and get a new perspective on things. However, a lot of people don’t take advantage of this important break from work. In fact, the U.S. Travel Association reports that 52% of employees don’t use all of their vacation days.

Sarah Hanchett, LCSW, from evolvedMD, our HonorHealth primary care behavioral health services partner, talks about the importance of taking time off.

"When you think about taking a vacation, it sometimes can cause more stress than relaxation. Large expenses, being away from home for an extended period and separating yourself from work can cause your blood pressure to rise. You need to start thinking about vacations in a different way – scheduling a day or two away from work to do relaxing activities is more calming and comforting than the extravagant vacation. That being said, make sure you take care of your health by taking time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate."

While it may seem like a vacation is just a luxury you can put off, taking time off regularly can actually improve your health. People who took more vacation time in the past year had a lower number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Body fat around the waist
  • High cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
Take a vacation, it's good for you. Behavioral health services from HonorHealth

The more vacation they took, the more these risk factors were reduced.

A vacation is a time to put away the computer and do things you enjoy. It’s a time to try to calm anxious thoughts and lower stress levels. Unfortunately, taking a long, extravagant vacation somewhere exotic is expensive and not always practical. The good news is you can take a mental vacation anytime. Best of all, you do not have to go far to experience this sense of calm. A relaxing staycation can also do the trick.

Some ways you can make your weekend or day off feel like a vacation is by putting your phone away, going to a new restaurant or trying a new activity. Small changes can give your mind a break, and doing something different from your usual routine can make life a bit more exciting.

Try to find ways to make time for a vacation. Whether you're headed out of town or sticking around, making it feel like a vacation is important. It's all about the mindset. So, enjoy time to check out mentally for a bit, knowing it will be good for your health.

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