Reasons You Should be Using Your Paid Vacation Time This Summer

Paid vacation time, for most employees, is hoarded like a dragon in its cave guarding a centuries old treasure. This time has been well-earned and well-saved.

You struggle over where to go and when to go, ultimately deciding to wait when it’s right. Don’t fret over wasting or never taking your paid vacation time any longer. This summer is the perfect time go, and here are the nudges you need to put the request in:

1. You Deserve It

Take a deep breath and say it aloud, “I deserve this.” It’s hard to admit to yourself that you deserve a break, but self care is vital to your well being. You’ve put in the time. So, take off the time.

It’s okay. Only a despicable boss wouldn’t recognize the hard work you’ve done over the last few months or years, hardly taking a sick day or any personal time. Put in the request.

2. Your Health Requires It

One more time: Self-care is vital. If you’ve gone more than 365 days without vacation time, your risk for major diseases increases, not to mention you’ll suffer from poor work performance and personal well-being.

Statistics don’t lie. A ten hour plus work day boosts coronary heart risk factors by 80 percent, from a study spanning over fifty years. Those who work 11 hours a day, compared to an average eight-hour work day, were at least twice as likely to experience a major depressive episode. Compared to a 40-hour work week, a 55-hour week revealed that workers experienced decreased cognitive functions that included poor reasoning and vocabulary.

If you’re feeling the effects, it’s time to take at least a personal day. Take your sanity on a day trip out of town, away from the stresses of being overworked for too long.

3. You Could Be Hurting You Chances for Career Advancement

If you take time off, that shows you’re not dedicated to your job, right? This “work-martyr” syndrome is a workplace myth, where 500 million vacation days go unused every year, and 19 percent believe that taking time off will boost their competitive edge when it comes to promotion time. Another 17 percent are afraid of losing their jobs, should they request off.

While you may see your workaholic tendencies as dedication to the office, your perceived dedication is likely killing your chances to advance. Over half of Americans had unused vacation days in 2015, and the effects of skipping summer vacation has been shown to hurt one’s career.

Those who took 11 days off every year, at least, were revealed to be more likely to earn a bonus or raise in the last three years compared to those who took under ten days of vacation. The motivation for these employees to take time off stems from the traits of what makes an employee great, which is a sense of duty, responsibility and ambition. Besides, your paid time off is a benefit, and that means you’re ultimately wasting money when you don’t take it.

4. Improve Your Resilience

While you’re pushing to meet deadlines, your resilience is being tested in a way it won’t likely pass if you keep overworking. You’re also more likely to push out the same old work at a quality that’s less than stellar.

Improve your resilience by taking a break, instead of pushing on when you’re completely exhausted. You’re equipping yourself to cope with challenges when you take paid time off to recharge. When you exhaust your physical and mental resources, you’re no good to anyone.

Rebuild your resources and take time off now. You’ll bounce back feeling renewed and refreshed, with fresh eyes and a creative spark.

Claim the benefit of taking paid vacation time, which will also benefit your mind, body and spirit. You deserve it and won’t regret it. You’ll come back more renewed and ready to work harder, and it doesn’t hurt to know that your employer will see it as a positive.

Take the time off and go dig your heels in the sand this summer. Imagine the ocean waves lapping at your feet while you drink a refreshing cocktail and catch up on much needed sleep, surf and sea air. Summer is calling for you, and it’s okay to answer. Put in your request for time off today.

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