For many of us, planning a vacation can take months, sometimes years to pull together. We strive for relaxation, exploration, plenty of great eating, and fun in the summer sun! Unfortunately, 2020 had other ideas.

Experts warn that the added stress of a global pandemic, social distancing, and upended schedules makes taking a break from the day-to-day stress this year more important than ever before.

Why a Break is Needed

Taking a break provides you with a host of physical and mental benefits that include:

Improved Physical Health

Stress contributes to not only heart disease and high blood pressure, it can lower our immune system making us prone to illness. Research shows that taking a break can lead to better sleep, lower blood pressure, and improved reaction times. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and allow the body and mind to heal.

Increased Concentration

Upon returning from a break, you’re often more focused and productive. Studies show that chronic stress can modulate the part of the brain that inhibits goal-related activity and can cause memory problems. Time off gives your brain a tune-up!

Decreased Burnout

Taking regular time off makes your team less likely to experience burnout, keeping them more productive and creative.

Making the Most of Your Time Off

While taking that trip of a lifetime to wander through Tibet might be off-limits right now, here are some ideas for making your time off count!

  • Remember when planning a road trip was all about an amazing playlist and plenty of snacks? These days, the road trip is back! And a great way to get away safely.
  • Nearly 1/3 of travelers are planning their first camping trip this summer according to KOA. Camping doesn’t mean days on the road. There are plenty of great campgrounds and RV parks within a short drive from where you live.
  • Savor the simple! Simple family activities like a backyard campfire can give you enjoyable downtime.
  • Just setting aside some time each day to do something non-work related can give you vacation-like benefits. 

A vacation doesn’t have to be long, or far away to provide benefits. Even just a day or two off to spend time with family or do a project around the house can help. While it might not be that trip of a lifetime, taking a break isn’t just nice to have, it’s necessary!