By Louise Bauer Davoli
Some workers feel guilty about taking time off. That sense of guilt reflects the American work ethic and our societal belief that values productivity. Additionally, some companies are staffed so lean that there is no way people can take the time off they have earned.
If taking some time off is the last thing on your mind you may want to reconsider. Skipping vacation is hazardous to your health and your job performance. Taking vacation is not a luxury it is a necessity. Both men and women are at higher risk of chronic disease if they fail to take some time off to relax and reflect.
Some people fear that if they leave the workplace for a couple of weeks for some R and R that their jobs won't be there upon their return. Taking vacation provides an opportunity for workers to decompress, reflect and rejuvenate. Workers experience an "after glow" with time off that goes further than just the time away from the job.
It might be time for a vacation if...
-- You experience fatigue
-- Have difficulty waking up
-- You are irritable
-- Low threshold for frustration
-- Physical aches and pains in the neck, head and back
During vacation time, family and personal relationships can be strengthened and other types of social connections and bonds take place adding value and significance to lives. In spite of this information, American workers are not utilizing their vacation time. Nearly 60 percent of the American workforce is not taking advantage of all their vacation time. And when we are away from our jobs, we are frequently checking in with the boss or co-workers via email and voicemail.
-- Provide a mental and physical break
-- Inspires you to develop health-promoting habits
-- Enhance relationships with family and friends
Shifting values in the workplace and re-educating ourselves is a big part of the change needed to create an environment that values vacation. It is important for people to take their vacations, at least a week preferably two. Taking vacations provides an opportunity for workers to decompress, reflect and rejuvenate. In fact, people who take vacation are more productive, report higher morale and experience fewer physical ailments. Your vacation time might also provide you with that little bit of contemplative time that allows you the quiet time to figure out that strategy you have been tussling with.