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Vacations Are Good For Health And Productivity, Study Finds

Vacations Are Good For Health And Productivity, Study Finds

We live in a busy world, full of distractions. And finding some me time and peace during the chaos of the day isn’t an easy task anymore. But without taking breaks and resting properly we can’t work effectively. In fact, we can’t get anything done, focus or even get closer to our goals.

That’s because being busy and tired all the time prevents us from turning our brains off even when it’s time to relax, we can’t sleep well as a result of that, and become depressed and stressed over time.

But there’s a solution.

Vacation time allows you to experience physical and emotional benefits

You may have many things on your to-do list and truly want to do your best job and feel accomplished in the end of the day. But you also want to stay healthy and be on top of your game. That’s why you’re in need of a vacation. Once you’ve dedicated all your time and energy to work and daily tasks, though, leaving them for a while doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. You may think that things will get out of control, or that you’ll be left behind and will have to hustle even more after that.

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But these are minor issues considering the actual benefits of vacations. Because, believe it or not, they are great for your health and productivity. Here’s why:

1. Taking a vacation helps you reduce stress.

There’s nothing like leaving the stressful environment of your daily life and entering a new world, full of excitement. The study carried out be American Sociological Association shows that a bigger number of vacations leads to a decline in the psychological distress of people. And when the average worker takes more vacations per year, that becomes a beneficial determinant of population health.

2. Vacation frequency is related to mortality.

According to another study on whether vacations are good for our health, “The frequency of annual vacations by middle-aged men at high risk for CHD is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality and, more specifically, mortality attributed to CHD. Vacationing may be good for your health.” While this study discussed middle-aged men, this works for all people! Whether you are a hard-working student or a few years from retirement, you deserve a vacation.

3. It helps you grow spiritually.

One of the most important aspects of having a vacation is that you get to know yourself better. You learn new things throughout the journey, but you also experience changes on the inside. And once you get back to reality, you can benefit from these by trying new techniques to be more productive in life and in business, for example.

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4. You improve your mental health.

It’s great for your brain too. Seeing new places and putting yourself in an unfamiliar environment are great for expanding your horizons, but it also improves your thinking and creativity.

5. Frequent vacations lead to a happier marriage.

The Wisconsin Rural Women’s Health Study says that females who get vacations more often are not only less depressed and have more energy in general, but are also more satisfied with their marriage.

6. You connect with nature.

According to a study from the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain, being closer to green space improves your mental health right away, and that effect can be sustained for longer. All these are great. And people who frequently travel (even if it’s not abroad), live a much happier life and are more productive.

But then there are those who really can’t afford to take a vacation. Be it because their work is too demanding, are starting a new job, have many things to take care of at home, or else. However, there’s another, even simpler, solution for them. It doesn’t require going away for a vacation, but it does offer similar benefits.

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How to Take a Break When You Can’t Get a Vacation?

Action One: Unplug

Falling asleep with devices around you is one of the reasons why you can’t have a good night’s sleep. It’s also why you can stay awake in bed for hours, and wake up in a bad mood as a result.

So, avoid any technology at least an hour before bed. It may be the only time in the day when you’ll unplug completely, but it will lead to great changes. Set some limits and you’ll soon double your productivity.

Action Two: Have some me time

A great way to avoid burnout at work is to make sure you have some time just for yourself daily. The best choice, and the easiest to start doing right away, is to wake up a bit earlier than you currently do, and use that time to have a pleasant morning ritual. You may journal, read something inspiring, meditate, listen to music, or just drink your coffee slowly and do nothing.

Be sure that this little practice will soon become your best habit. It’s sacred time and no one can take it from you. Dedicate time to it daily and you’ll be less stressed throughout the whole day. You’ll also handle problems at work easily and will generate ideas quickly.

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Action Three: Meditate

It doesn’t need to take long. It may be just sitting still for 2 minutes and trying to empty your mind. That’s all there is to this simple practice, but the benefits are amazing. You increase blood flow, slow the heart rate and eliminate stress. It also improves your immune system and memory. So give it a try.

That’s how you can be relaxed, productive and healthier without having to take a vacation.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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