We don’t tend to think of stress as a disease. But once we read the list of its symptoms, it sure sounds like one. Common symptoms of stress are headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, upset stomach, sleeping problems, and fatigue. Common emotional effects include anxiety, lack of motivation, lack of focus, irritability, anger, or depression. Stress can even affect our behavior, putting us at higher risk of social withdrawal, alcohol abuse, angry outbursts, or overeating and undereating. That’s not a list any of us want to deal with, so it’s time we dealt with stress like a real health issue and started finding the cure. It’s here that real relaxing vacations come into the equation.
A Few Reasons Why Vacations Make You Healthier
Stress can be combated in many effective ways. Some of them include exercise, soothing scents, and laughter. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are all popular ways of soothing your psyche, and taking some necessary steps, like saying “no” more, might also improve stress levels. One of the major ways to combat stress, however, is a good old-fashioned vacation.
Let’s examine some of the health benefits of taking a break. Whether you take an Alaskan cruise or visit Civil War sites, a vacation might make you healthier, and there are some studies that help prove it.
Did you know that only 25% of Americans take all of their vacation days? And did you know that 61% of Americans still do work while on vacation? It’s further proof of what we already knew: we’re not good at resting, unplugging, or finding peace. You might have shunted vacations aside, thinking you didn’t need them, but several studies show the importance of taking vacations for your physical and emotional health.
Some findings from the studies include women who took a vacation every six years or fewer were eight times more likely to have a heart attack. Men who took annual vacations were 32% less likely to die of heart disease. Women who took vacations at least twice a year reported happier marriages, less depression, and less tension.
While correlation and causation are always to be considered in such studies, there’s something in these findings. People who go on vacation tend to have higher energy levels and greater life satisfaction.
If you suffer from chronic stress, a work-free vacation might be just what you need. You can go far–explore Europe, or hike in Asia. Often, however, intense vacations bring their own stress, so perhaps what you need right now is to explore Henry County or browse a St. George Island Guide. Close to home, stress-free, a week or weekend “somewhere else” might be just what the doctor ordered.
If you are interested in even more vacation-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.