Vacation: Do you need it?If you’re like me, you probably work full time. Or work enough jobs and hours where you technically work full time. We all know that our vacation days and weekends are sacred. The way my vacation time works is it’s in a “bank”. It is used for Vacation, Illness, and Personal. Which some people think is really great. I am not that person. I like having the option of taking a sick day/personal day, without tapping into my Vacation-Bank. Especially since I’m on my second snow day in two weeks *puke*. That’s two days I could have in Rome, or Hawaii, or Las Vegas, or Argentina– wherever! The cool thing about my VIP Bank, is that I don’t have to use it by the end of the year. It rolls over until I have accumulated so much time–let’s face it, I will never see that number. (A coworker and friend of mine did, I asked her to see what that much time looks like! She did use it a few days later to take a month long vacation back home to Sydney, Australia.) In 2017, I traveled a ton for long and short periods of time. Bavaria and Rome, Hawaii twice, Phoenix, Minnesota, Miami, and Jamaica (okay, this one was a work trip). So 2018 was a re-cooperation year for my vacation time. So there were only a few short trips, and most of them were because friends and family were getting married. Puerto Vallarta (followed by being out of work for 5 days due to somehow getting Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.. that was a joy, however it was an extremely mild case, thankfully!), Washington DC, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Wilmington (Delaware) and Philadelphia, Minnesota, Cancun/Riviera Maya/Tulum (work trip). They may seem like a lot. However, the longest trip (was the work trip, but besides that) was just three business days. This meant by October (After a work trip in September, and an extended weekend to Minnesota in August) I was dying. All I could feel was the stress at work, which came home to have stress there, the stress of my company’s merger, the stress of my student loans getting higher, and the stress about money which encompassed it all. I was stressed. I was unbelievably irritable. And easily. There was no telling when and if I was going to snap, and what it would be about. This actually scared me a little bit. Especially since I’m stuck in traffic both ways to and from work (and I don’t really live close). I was honestly terrified that I was going to snap at somebody or walk out of work, there’s no telling what I would have done, I just would have to suffer the consequences, if I did. That’s when I took my first, actual personal day. (Vacation Day now at -1.) It was the best thing that I could have done at that time. I relaxed. I took naps. I took the longest shower. I blogged, I planned my content, I scheduled posts, I made my lunches for the week, I did an exercise video. I felt fabulous. And that was just one day. It felt like everything just wiped away. So the answer to the long awaited question is yes.In a 40-year study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. “Shorter vacations were associated with excess deaths in the intervention group. In the intervention group, men who took three weeks or less annual vacation had a 37% greater chance of dying in 1974 to 2004 than those who took more than three weeks. Vacation time had no impact on risk of death in the control group.” And the main cause, stress. To read more about this study click here. Due to taking a vacation, you get rid of your stress and irritability. You take a minute to take a breath without everything being routine. “Recharging your battery” will make you more productive at work and in your life. You can officially unplug and just enjoy the world around you, and boost your creativity. Now here I am again, waiting for a long awaited vacation (that unfortunately isn’t planned). Puerto Vallarta in January, Rome in February. I’d like to say that I have tons of vacation days.. except I don’t. Which is a shame. By July, I should have a good amount for a wonderful vacation. Don’t know exactly where I’ll be going. But I will be using it to go somewhere relaxing and exciting! According to a study by Glassdoor, in 2016, 54% of Americans didn’t take all of their paid vacation days (of those who got 2 full weeks). There were several reasons for that, and the most common was Fear. Fear of getting behind on their work. Fear that no one else can do their job. Fear that they may not look as dedicated to their company. While this study lets us know that job security in the US is rare. Companies can fire their employees for any reason. Just know, there are more benefits to taking that vacation time, than just losing your job. Now, what I am not saying is take a vacation and lose your job, will you really care–because of course you would. We all would care if we lost our job. Now just imagine how refreshed your brain would feel. How focused you would be, after you do take that week of vacation, at your job. I am a proud supporter of vacations. I am a proud supporter of taking vacation time. Even bigger supporter of paid time off. None of us like to waster money. Why would you want to lose money? Just think $17 an hour for 8 hours for 10 days off? Who just throws $2,720 (without taxes) away?