Ah, vacation. It’s a beautiful thing, whether your definition of it is traveling to some exotic locale or staying put and exploring spots in your hometown. It doesn’t matter if you prefer stay-cating, going abroad, or taking a road trip complete with a tent and camping gear.
Breaking from work and taking a breather can be done in a variety of ways. It’s no surprise then that what people state as their reasons for going on vacation vary, but with a similar common theme. Time away from work—and everything that goes with it, from emails to to-do lists to drafting proposals and attending meetings—is essential to your well-being.
Although it may seem like I’m stating the obvious—after all, who doesn’t love a little R&R?—the fact that many people don’t take vacations from work, instead leaving precious unused time on the table tells me one thing: It’s necessary for a healthy reminder about why you should absolutely take time to recharge.
The following Musers’ stories ought to be enough to convince you to put in a request for time off stat.
1. It Encourages Creativity
I’m at my most creative when I’m exploring, so vacation gives me a chance to think big, outrageous thoughts and play around with my most experimental ideas. When I come back, not only do I feel refreshed, but I’ve often made some sort of breakthrough in the rest of my work or life.
2. It Helps Prevent Burnout
I take vacation for many reasons. I worry about burning out—not just in terms of declining in productivity, but in terms of enjoying my job and the people around me. If I catch myself sniping at someone because I’m in a bad mood, or feeling exhausted on a regular basis, or not looking forward to going to work (even though I do enjoy my work), I know it’s time to unplug.
3. It Makes it Easier to Gain Perspective
I enjoy vacation to recalibrate. It’s easy to get plugged into the daily routine and forget about all the life that exists outside of it. By traveling, exploring, and adventuring I refresh my understanding that there’s a lot of ‘right ways’ to live and feel charged knowing that there’s not one way to do it. Oh, I also like to have a good tan, too.
4. It Encourages Quality Time With Loved Ones
I take vacation for a few different reasons. 1) To spend more time with family and other loved ones, 2) to de-stress (hard for me to do actually) and stop thinking about work, and 3) for short vacations (e.g., one day here or there) where I’m attending to family or personal responsibilities. For longer vacations—I want the experience (via travel) to go to places I have not been and that I believe will ideally both enrich my life and strengthen my family bonds and friendship bonds (depending on whom I go with). Sometimes, I’m just worn out and want to sleep in for a day or feel like I can go the gym anytime I want and not have to get there before 6 AM.
5. It Gives You Something to Look Forward To
Life’s short, so I think it’s necessary to put aside time to have fun and see the world! Plus, I enjoy having something to look forward to.
6. It Makes it Possible to Connect With Yourself
There’s nothing quite like traveling alone in a new country. You’re responsible for having fun. You’re responsible for meeting new people. You’re responsible for making it memorable. It shocks the system into creating new friends, connecting with other people, and expanding your horizons. Most importantly, I feel like it really helps create inner peace of mind/confidence in yourself.
The variety of these responses should tell you one thing: You don’t need a formulated reason to break from work and enjoy your life outside the office. You also don’t need to take a set amount of time, though if you’re curious about how to take a long vacation, I encourage you to read this. It’s all about how I personally pulled off a three-week stress-free vacation.
Spoiler: I did that by planning ahead and using this free worksheet.
Now, what are you waiting for? Look at your calendar and see when you’re going to take off and go on that vacation that you deserve.
Photo of family on vacation courtesy of susan.k/Getty Images.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author