With as much time as we spend in the workplace, and the realization that depression and stress are real problems for many Americans, let’s talk about how we can get back to a healthier place, mentally. Did you know that the U.S. is the only developed country that doesn’t require employers to give workers annual paid time off? That leaves 23% of Americans without paid holidays.

One thing we can each do to help our mental health is to make self-care a priority — and taking time off work can absolutely count as a form of self-care. It also helps us achieve that work-life balance most of us are constantly striving for.

Here are a few reasons why you should take that vacation:

  • Vacations give you time to decompress and regain a sense of control.
  • Vacations strengthen important relationships in your life, allowing for special time to reconnect with friends and family, or even yourself.
  • Vacations give you the time to experience an increase in creative thinking
  • Vacations boost productivity. Sound counterintuitive? Taking a vacation lets employees break free from the same scenarios they face every day at work, including deadlines and meetings. Vacations from work give you the chance to come up with fresh ideas.
  • Vacations may lead to promotions — because having some time to relax and decompress, and come back to work fresh and ready to give your best can really have positive impacts on your performance. And great performance may lead to that promotion you’ve been working toward.

When employees take time off work, both the employers and employees benefit because time off helps employees feel engaged, healthy, and fulfilled. Although eight days of unplugging is recommended to feel happy, even a day or two away from the daily grind could provide a quick way to recharge. So take that vacation — and enjoy it.

Vacation Time: Time Off Can Positively Impact Your Mental Health