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Take a Vacation Already

Have you taken a vacation lately? Americans receive, on the average, only 14 annual vacation days contrasted with 24 days in Great Britain, 26 days in Germany, 30 days in Spain and 36 days in France. Yet, on the average, Americans only take 12 days and that just makes me sad. If you earned those days why not take them. In fact taking a vacation is good for your physical as well as your mental/emotional health.

Most jobs mean stress, and stress is just not good for your health. Stress produces physiological changes in your bodies, including higher blood pressure and a surge in stress hormones, such as adrenaline, which can cause blood to clot and increase the risk of a heart attack. Convinced yet?

It's not clear whether vacations cause better health or whether they are just an indicator of healthier lifestyles. But taking time off does appear to have physical and mental benefits according to recent studies. Women who vacation frequently are less likely to become tense or depressed. Now are you convinced?

So go ahead, take a vacation already. Do it for your heart.


Join The Conversation
blackjade blackjade 10 years
We really don't believe in 'holiday' like they do in other countries and it's sad. I just came back from a two week vacation - 4 days in NY and 9 days in Panama and a day on either end to prepare. I take one two week vacation every year, another week between Christmas and new years, and I never work on my birthday. My boss just took his first 2 week vacation EVER! craziness. Even if I don't go far away for the whole time it doesn't matter, what matters is that I'm not at work, breaking up the routine...
Loreal25 Loreal25 10 years
I am really feeling the effects of not planning a real vacation this summer...I am seriously considering just taking a week off, even if I don't go anywhere special...
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 10 years
I could use a vacation right now =p
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i always take my vacation days! i love to travel so its easy to give myself an excuse to leave the city for a bit. i even love "mental health day" - just sitting at home and relaxing: both enormously fun and also free!
imLissy imLissy 10 years
I have one vacation day (I just started a month ago) and I'm usin' it on friday. Wheeeee
brookemcqueen brookemcqueen 10 years
I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow and I definitely need it. I haven't taken any time off in over a year (except for 2 weeks while I was recovering from surgery)...that was hardly a vacation!
arienne arienne 10 years
In some professional jobs it can be very difficult to take a vacation. For example, most lawyers do not earn any vacation. Instead there is a minimum number of hours you are required to bill every year. So when you take a vacation, you have to make up all of the time on weekends and evenings when you get back. And law firms most certainly do look at who took time off (and how much) when they are deciding on bonuses, partnership, lay-offs, etc. Other countries mandate vacation time (which for lawyers means lower minimum billable hours). So I don't think all of the people giving up vacation time are doing it because they don't want it, in some jobs it can be really hard.
vienvien vienvien 10 years
I already did take 2 months vacation ---went home to the Philippines and it was a very wonderful vacation
monica117 monica117 10 years
Definitely one of my favorite parts of living in the UK: six weeks a year! It's amazing!
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 10 years
I need a real vacation soon. Stress really is a problem (especially anyone who deals with money in NYC). Thanks for the tip Fit.
suzanne suzanne 10 years
I so agree, Fit! Take the vacation that you have earned... when the company has to downsize - they do not go back to see who gave up their vacations. You have nothing to lose and a happier life to gain. Bon Voyage all. PS: To james bond girl. :WAVE: We did 4 1/2 years in France and took the whole vacation time offered. The quality of life there is something we Americans should stirve for.!!!
james-bond-girl james-bond-girl 10 years
36 days in France!? Where do I sign up?
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
I'm going away for the first time in FOREVER a week from today in fact! Whenever I take a vacation day or days it's because I have to go to the doc or run errands or something of the sort. I never actually take a real vacation and this should be fun. Just to Lincoln City, OR (I live in Seattle) but time away from work and home should do me some good. Now if only I can find a track or nice place to run while there...
MegLahr MegLahr 10 years
I always take all of my vacation time, and I'm in a good job where I usually take extra time and just dont get paid which is ifne by me I need a break every couple of months even if it's just for a weekend
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I would never eat my vacation for the sake of the company, unless I owned that company! People who don't take their earned breaks will drive themselves to an early grave. It's a mental and physical health MUST.
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