How important is vacation time?

Toes in the sand, snow on the ground; a city street or a country field; pizza in Naples or pineapple in Hawaii. Whatever your dream vacation involves, you should be planning for it. So quit dreaming and book that flight, claim that cruise or indulge in that weekend getaway, because it turns out that it’s good for your health!

According to studies, there are important psychological benefits that are associated with going on vacation. One of the biggest reasons to book that trip? Stress relief.

Vacations actually result in increased productivity from employees.

That’s right, time away from work and enjoying leisure activities helps your body — and your mind — relax and recuperate from the toll that stress can take on your body.

Chronic stress is no laughing matter. It can diminish your body’s efforts to fight off infection, increase your chances of becoming sick and make you feel generally run down.

When you’re run down, you might not be performing your job with the efficiency and productivity that you are capable of. That doesn’t benefit you or your employer.

So, the next time you think you’re too busy to take time off, consider this: studies show that workers who take extended vacations are actually more productive. Chances are that’s because taking vacations helps you manage stress better.

Vacations aren’t just long traveling trips.

For many of us, family, work and personal obligations can make it hard to truly unplug and unwind. But there is good news for those folks who have a hard time getting away for the day, let alone an extended trip.

Short breaks or “mental vacations” can help boost your mood, increase your productivity and reduce stress. Leaving your desk to take a walk in the park, meditating for ten minutes in the morning or afternoon and spending a weekend “unplugged” and outdoors can do wonders for reducing stress levels.

So even if you can’t book that dream trip to Tahiti, you can still take a long weekend here and there to disconnect from your busy work world.

Vacation time might not be mandatory in most businesses, but some might argue that it should be. Your personal happiness — and productivity — might just increase after spending a little time spent checking out.