As jobs become more difficult to find and keep, you may have recently felt the sudden need to invest long hours at work especially if you only recently graduated college. However, this can come at the cost of so many other aspects of your life.
While there are many ways to define “taking a break”, it’s definitely more than just taking the occasional coffee break or the happy-hour drinking with friends, colleagues, or co-workers – and there are many reasons why you should.
Here’s why you should take a few days off, relax, and treat yourself every now and then:
1. Stress is literally unhealthy
Pressures can easily mount on you no matter how dedicated you are or how strong your work ethic is, and when they do, your mind is constantly on a “fight or flight” mode and your brain releases the stress hormone cortisol.
But while stress is a natural human response, being stressed for long periods of time can have serious effects on your body as a result.
When you’re stressed for long periods of time, your body suffers. You become more irritable, you make poor and rash decisions, and you end up having trouble maintaining good communication in your interpersonal relationships.
This all ends with you eventually getting sick at some point in time, and you take up sick days off of work instead, which hampers your productivity.
Vacation days are an antidote to this that not only refreshes your mind, but also lets you tackle your work with a renewed focus and a more optimistic outlook. When these two factors are met, productivity will start coming in shortly after.
3. Better self-assessment
You can’t use the time after work hours to take a good look at where you are right now or whether or not you’ve completed your goals. This is because you’re too tired or too consumed with thinking about the next day or the next week in your schedule.
However, you can step back and take a look at the bigger picture by taking some time off. This also lets you expand your horizons, make new experiences and memories, and meet all kinds of interesting people who can better your understanding of your personal and professional life.
4. Quality time
Maintaining interpersonal relationships is just as important as your work, and even more so when it’s a part of your work.
While you can compensate for lost work hours, you can’t compensate on the time lost by simply waiting for retirement. The best way to build lasting relationships with friends and family is with the time you have that you’re willing and able to spend, and this just isn’t possible when you’re dedicating too much of it to your job.