Take some time off this holiday season. It could make you happier and improve your job performance.
Are you planning to take a vacation this holiday season? Too busy at work, you say? Well, consider this: In a recent survey, 35 percent of participants felt better about their jobs and were more productive at work after taking a vacation. It makes perfect sense, really. But according to the same survey, the average American uses just 14 of their 18 allotted days. Compare these numbers to the Europeans: German, Spanish and French citizens receive 30 vacation days each year, and only the Germans leave any of it on the table. If traveling isn’t an option, how about a “staycation”? You can still enjoy many of the same benefits — relaxing walks, hot soaks in the tub, a new restaurant, or a great book — without actually having to leave home. You might even consider planning a future or fantasy vacation, just for fun. The vacation planning itself can release positive emotions and benefit your brain by boosting mental flexibility. That’s something your employer is sure to appreciate.