Quality time with family and friends: Sure, new experiences are fantastic, but in the same survey, nearly 70 percent of Americans said this was the most important benefit of being on vacation. Forging closer connections is just a day (off) away.
Decreased stress: Yes, you feel that Zen when you’re on vacation, but it’s not all in your head. A study from University of California, San Francisco, found that those indulging in a relaxing vacation actually had improvements in stress levels and their immune system functioning (when comparing before-and-after blood samples).
Improved creativity: Researchers found a 50 percent boost in creativity when testing hikers who had spent four days in nature, disconnected from devices.
Three Ways to Make Your Summer Vacation Stress-Free
Not sure you can swing a solid week of vacation time? Consider mini-vacations. Some workplaces grant summer Fridays; if yours does, add Monday for a four-day weekend that only requires one day out, or commit to making your own summer Fridays by requesting PTO time every Friday in July and August. You can get planning your weekend getaways or staycations exploring your own town.
2. Really disconnect.
Planning to “just quickly check email” can be an invitation to derail your relaxation since there’s typically something waiting in your inbox that’s sure to inject stress. In fact, nearly 30 percent of respondents to a Glassdoor survey said they’d had a vacation interruption from a colleague, and a quarter said their boss intruded. Resist the urge to even look—any fires will be waiting for you when you return (or if you’re lucky, someone else will already have taken care of it!)
3. Trade days off with a colleague.
Worried a client might need you? You can swap duties with a coworker who has a similar position to cover each other’s PTO time. You can also leave a clear “out of office” message so that your contacts know how to get their needs met. Clear it with your manager first, of course, but you’ll probably find it’s less stressful to take your vacation time when you know your work is being handled, rather than piling up.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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