Taking vacation time away from work boosts energy levels, lowers anxiety and helps protect against illness.
Researchers in a 2016 study found that taking time off work also prevents burnout and supports overall health, because the more we’re constantly “on,” the higher our risk of fatigue and negativity. Physically, you might get sick or rundown due to the body needing more rest. Mentally, your brain basically has a limited number of resources, and at a certain point, you start to feel, quite literally, drained.
“I recommend that employees take paid time off (PTO) because of mental health,” says Oklahoma-based psychiatrist Nicole Washington. “Periodically taking days off to focus on family or self-care can be beneficial to decreasing burnout.”
The difficulty, of course, involves the act of actually disconnecting from work. Even if we leave the office or shut down our laptops, many people still find themselves unable to fully detach for a night or a vacation.
According to the "Assessment of Paid Time Off in the U.S." by Project Time Off, disconnecting from work gives you an opportunity to recharge and refresh. Without that gap, it’s harder to find the energy to handle challenges, be productive and maintain an optimistic attitude.