By Khalidha Naushad
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much stress in our lives that it has come to the point where a break has become necessary to rejuvenate ourselves. Meanwhile, working from home has also become the norm and it is uncertain as to when it will be safe to return to workplaces. Most of us are used to working long hours and sacrificing fun, so, breaks are always rewarding, even if they make you feel guilty.
‘Breaks’ could also be a walk away from your desk, meditation, screen time, or any activity that calms and boosts you up. With that being said, longer breaks like vacations are also encouraged after a stressful week. Micro-breaks, lunchtime breaks, and longer breaks have all been shown to have a positive relationship with well-being and productivity. If you never knew the mental and physical changes that the breaks could make, this article is for you.
Improves heart health
A nine-year study of The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, highlights the potential cardiovascular health benefits of taking a vacation. This trial studied 12,000 men with a high risk of coronary heart disease over nine years. The study found that men who take frequent annual vacations were 21 per cent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 per cent more likely to die from heart disease.
According to bewellshbp.com, a vacation also helps reduce Metabolic syndrome which is a group of health problems that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, extra belly fat, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, all of which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes.
Improves physical health
Standing up and moving around is essential with or without breaks. A short walk during a lunch break, some exercises, jogging, or moving around helps to improve your physical health. According to sprigghr.com, walking for five minutes during breaks at work is enough to help reduce the chances of depression, obesity, and more. Being physically healthy will help you to be both mentally and emotionally healthy as well.
Changing of environment
The same routine, the same faces, the same meals, and so on characterise our lives. Our lives become bland, stagnant and repetitious as a result of this. One of the most essential reasons to take a long vacation is to alter your surroundings; the marvels of new scenery may help you recover and refresh your attitude, ideas and thoughts. Long vacations introduce you to different people, personalities and cultures which will certainly refresh you.
Improves family relationships
Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages. According to neilson.co.uk, family holidays can improve relationships between family members with improved communication, relaxed time together and the joy of shared experiences. Another benefit of vacation is gaining a natural chance to unplug as a family according to focusonthefamily.com.
Improves mental health
Last but not least, but perhaps the most important, is your mental wellness! Vacations or even a short vacation might assist you in overcoming your burnout. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It's natural to lose motivation at a job or school. However, you must be aware of how taking breaks may benefit your mental well-being. You don't always need a helping hand to get over stress and burnout; taking some time to recharge yourself alone allows you to focus on yourself and figure out why you're feeling the way you are. Social getaways and digital detox are also good ways to enhance mental wellness. You never know how social media has impacted your mental health until you take a break from it. Planning a vacation can boost your happiness. According to allinahealth.org, some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip.
If you are unable to take breaks at work – whether you’re short-staffed, it’s too busy, you have too much to do, etc., Sprigghr.com advises you to try changing your work environment instead. Focusing on a different task will use a slightly different part of your brain and when you return to the original task you’ll have a few of the benefits a true break would offer.