“A change is as good as a rest,” my mom was fond of saying. Though I didn’t exactly know what that meant growing up, as I got older and into my career routine, I came to understand the importance of that advice.

Growing up we were never a family who could afford to go on “vacation”, but that didn’t mean we didn’t enjoy holiday time, the benefits, the break from the day-to-day even while enjoying a “staycation”. Whether catching up on chores, finally reading that book, taking a stab at completing a fun project, making memories was the ultimate goal. This is because holidays are necessary for every one to get rest and refreshment. Some may say they are a lifeline to sanity, a chance to step away from everyday life and reconnect with the people, relax, regroup—in my opinion, they’d be right.

Amazingly, a recent report claims unused holiday days are at a 40-year high, with nearly a quarter of all paid vacation days in the United States not being used, and the United Kingdom not far behind.

For those who scoff vacations, be aware, chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body’s ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even the ability to avoid injury. This leads to lack of sleep and the ability to properly digest food, which then may lead to the genetic material in the body’s cells to become altered. Mentally, people become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, and this in turn impacts memory which may lead to poor decisions.

So…whatever the plan…vacation…staycation…take a holiday:

  1. Reduce stress

In the midst of work pressures, it’s hard to see things clearly or rationally. Taking a proper break give perspective, creating a work/life balance.

  1. Improve Concentration

Improve effectiveness and concentration by unwinding from the everyday stresses, which gives the body the chance to replenish.

  1. Increased satisfaction

Personal time allows people to value themselves, which can lead to better teamwork and boost morale.

  1. Family matters

Family time is work and often exhausting. A break allows for time to bond, relax, and grow as a family.

  1. Improve physical and mental health

The New York Times reported those who take less than one holiday every two years are more likely to suffer from depression and burnout. Those who fail to take annual holidays have a 21% higher risk of death from all causes and were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack. 

So…plan ahead, do some research, take the time and most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it!

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment, taxation, legal vary accordingly. Please seek legal, accounting and human resources counsel from qualified professionals to make certain your legal/accounting/compliance interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.