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7 Reasons Why Taking a Vacation Can Make You Healthy

 Studies are showing that they’re important for a healthy mind, body and spirit. But it doesn’t have to be a lavish Mediterranean getaway. A vacation can be as simple as a “staycation” in your hometown or nearby city or a long weekend at your local lake. The essence of a vacation is to take a break from your habits, the monotony and your everyday routine. It’s time to book that vacation. Doctor’s orders! Here are 7 reasons why taking a vacation can make you healthy:

1. Vacations Relieve Stress: The chronic stress of your day-to-day routine can lead to fatigue, sleep problems and high blood pressure. But taking time away from daily pressures can relieve stress and get rid of the unhealthy hormones that accompany chronic stress. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health, time off is crucial for people to recover from the negative effects of stress that build up at work. Booking a nice, relaxing vacation helps ensure that those first signs of stress (like elevated heart rate and fatigue) don’t develop into more serious reactions.

2. Vacations Renew Your Focus: Putting your to-do list on hold for a bit is essential in renewing your focus for yourself and for your job. “You unplug, unwind and leave the daily worries behind, [which] is an important practice for your mental health,” says John Liantonio, M.D., of Thomas Jefferson University. “I think of vacation as a time to take a step back and think about what’s most important.” So use your time off to reflect on your current path and if it’s truly the direction you want to be going.

3. You’ll Strengthen Your Relationships: Between accomplishing all the things on your to-do list, it’s hard to find time to focus on the most important things in life: your relationships. By switching off your phone, taking a break from emails and getting away from your everyday obligations, you’re able to focus some of your precious time on your relationships. Lauree Berger Turman, a marriage and family therapist located in Beverly Hills, California, says, she’s seen her clients come back from vacations reconnected to their loved ones. “We need time off to give our bodies and minds time to go through the process of restoration,” she says.

4. Vacations Can Add Years to Your Life: Studies have found that people who take vacations live longer than people who don’t vacation. According to a 2000 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, men who are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease who took multiple annual vacations reduced their risk of death from all causes. Dr. John Liantonio says, “More studies need to be done to look at what specific benefits travelers are getting than non-travelers, but the mortality benefit is pretty impressive and enough for me to book another trip.”

5. Vacations Prevent Burnout: It’s important to give your brain time and space to solve problems. “People tend to get burned out because they put too much pressure on their work identity and forget about the identity of self,” says neuropsychologist Kate Cummins. “A holiday or break from work provides time for you to cultivate the person that you are and put emphasis on your self-identity. Look at vacation as an investment in yourself.”

6. Vacations Improve Heart Health: Even if all you do is zone out on the beach for a few days, you can still reap heart-healthy benefits. The well-known Framingham heart study has been looking at cardiovascular health for decades. A follow-up study conducted at SUNY Oswego revealed that men who took a yearly vacation were 32 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack. Another 2013 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who vacationed once every six years or less were more likely to have a heart attack or develop coronary artery disease compared to those who took at least two vacations a year.

7. Vacations Increase Productivity: It may seem counterintuitive, but taking time off can make you better at your job. According to an Ernst & Young internal study, for every 10 hours of vacation time that an employee took, their year-end performance rating improved eight percent. And those who vacationed frequently were also significantly less likely to leave the firm. It seems that checking out of work provides you with a renewed appreciation for your job and revitalized creativity once you return.

Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.