Summer, as usual, is flying by. August looms, and with it comes rising heat indexes, hazy humid skies and the start of school. But there’s still time to squeeze in a little getaway. We suggest you do so, because as recent research shows, taking a break from your routine can be beneficial to your health (not that we really needed a study to tell us that!). Here are some tips for maximizing a good-for-you vacation vibe.
- Plan ahead. And not just because that’s the logical thing to do, but because the planning and anticipating are one of the beneficial aspects of a vacation. According to a 2007 study in Experimental Psychology: General researcher Leaf Van Boven found that anticipating something resulted in more satisfying emotions than reminiscing after it’s over. Things feel distant once they are past, but “pre-living experiences can be emotionally arousing,” he says.
- Go short. You don’t have to take two weeks off to get the benefits of dialing down. Longer does not equal better in vacationland, in fact, researchers in Finland found that vacation well-being perks peak at about eight days, while it only takes a few days for a sense of well-being to improve “quite rapidly” while you are taking a break. The upshot: shorter more frequent vacations might help maximize time-off payoff from a wellness standpoint-and a wallet one too.
- Disconnect. Yes, we know it’s tempting to check email from the poolside and feel like you’re indispensible to your teammates. But you’re not. And in fact, your ability to disconnect and turn off the demands of your normal routine will make you a more rested, recharged and productive team member once you return. If you have to check-in, do so ONLY at designated times, short and sweet, then go back to reading your detective novel.
So, happy trails to you and yours as you enjoy the last (dog) days of summer. Bon Voyage!