Plan a Vacation – Using Your Paid Time Off is a GREAT Thing!

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Paid Time Off (PTO) is part of a company’s compensation package. Remarkably, many people do not take full advantage of this benefit. In fact, the average American receives 15 days of paid time off per year, but only uses 12. This resulted in roughly 375 million paid vacation days left unused in the past year, according to the 2016 Expedia Vacation Deprivation report.

You earned your days off, don’t let them go to waste. Take a vacation! If you don’t have one planned already, start planning a fun and relaxing getaway today!

Five Reasons to Use Your Vacation Days This Year

1. Improve Your Health

Taking a vacation can do wonders for both your physical and mental health. A 2016 study conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Sinai, the University of California, San Francisco and Harvard Medical School determined that a resort vacation has an immediate impact on molecular networks and a short-term impact on well-being. After a week at a resort, scientists found a significant change in participants’ molecular network patterns — most notably related to stress response and immune function. Improvement lasted up to one month.

2. Become More Productive

Running at full speed all the time is exhausting! While it’s good to ambitious, constantly pushing yourself to your limits is bound to result in high levels of stress and diminished productivity. Give yourself a break. After all, you’re only human. Vacations allow you to relax and recharge, so you can come back to work ready to give 100% once again.

3. Get a Creativity Boost

To do creative work, you need to be inspired. It can be difficult to find inspiration when you rarely leave your desk. A vacation allows you to deviate from your normal routine, unwind and gain new experiences. The break from work and change of scenery can improve your stress levels, health and mindset, enabling you to come up with more innovative ideas.

4. Avoid Burnout

If there was a time when your job barely felt like work, but it has since become more akin to a 10,000-pound weight, you may need a break. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long. Eventually, you will burnout. Of course, even a great vacation can’t save you from disliking an ill-fitting job, but it can lower your stress levels and help reinvigorate and preserve your passion for a job you truly enjoy.

5. Maintain a Better Work-Life Balance

The best part of taking a vacation is the opportunity to spend extra time with loved ones. Enjoying nights and weekends with family and friends is great, but vacation gives you 24/7 uninterrupted time with them. Using all your paid days off affords the opportunity to spend more time together. This is an essential part of striking a healthy work-life balance.

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