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5 Reasons You Should Use Your Vacation Days

Updated: May 29, 2022

Use Your Vacation Days

Vacation days don’t have to all be defined by white, sandy beaches and bottomless buffets. Whether you have the odd vacation day hovering over your calendar or unused 10 paid days off glistening in your future, you should plan on using every single hour allotted.

In 2020, our dining table became the conference table, our workdays became an hour longer. As flights were grounded our vacation days went largely ignored. One survey found that “40% outright cancelled a vacation and 23% postponed their vacation,” as the COVID pandemic spread. But pushing time off to the backburner isn’t a new trend. In 2018, American workers failed to use 768 million days of PTO, according to a trend report published by the U.S. Travel Association.

Feeling stressed or just need an extra-long, uninterrupted bath? It may be time to take a break, and lucky for you, you have PTO to use. Besides catching your breath and changing the scenery, here are a handful of reasons why you should use your vacation days.

1. Reduced Stress

Work stress can feel like a defeating, relentless fog. Curb stresses that stunts the quality of work by stepping away. The American Psychology Association reports, “The majority of working Americans reported positive effects of taking vacation time and said when they return to work … they have more energy (66 percent) and ... and feel less stressed (57 percent).” But this doesn’t mean an elaborate escapade to an entirely different landscape is required to destress. A day off traversing a sculpture garden or lounging under a lens of cucumber slices can be just as effective.

2. Better Productivity and Creativity

In a study conducted by Stanford, it was found that “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.” An afternoon trek through a wooded landscape, inhaling crisp air, and meditating to the chirps of birds could make room for louder, creative ideas back at the desk.