Daily life is stressful on even the best of days. You may find yourself dealing with traffic, road rage, and the risks of distracted drivers on your way to work. Those things happen before your day even begins.
Once you get to work you’re constantly dealing with bosses, co-workers, and clients. From there, even when your workday ends, you have to go home and deal with household chores and childcare.
It can seem like the stress of your life never ends, and while it’s inescapable in some ways, there are things you can do to recharge and reset, so you’re better able to deal with whatever life throws your way.
Traveling is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health, and we’ll outline some of the specifics of why investing in a vacation is worth it.
So many of us are dealing with burnout, and we may not even realize it. When you’re burned out with your daily life, you’re not going to be able to give your best in any one area. You might have a hard time slowing down and taking a deep breath, so your family, friends and career are just getting bits and pieces of you, rather than all of you.
When you travel, you can disconnect, and that disconnection can then help you better reconnect when you’re back and feel less burned out.
We all need a reset from time to time. You might find that you’re one of those people who like traveling to entirely new places every time you take a vacation, or you might like returning to the same destination so you can truly relax. Whichever option is going to help you disconnect and reset is what’s best for you.
Disconnecting from certain things, like your job or business, can help your return with clear eyes and a new perspective. You’re also likely going to be more productive when you get back.
Increasing your mindfulness isn’t just one of those buzzy New Age topics that we talk about in theory but not practice. Mindfulness is crucial. When you’re mindful, you’ll be more present with your family and loved ones and in your job.
When you take breaks and disconnect with a vacation, then it helps you train yourself to be more mindful in other parts of your life rather than operating only on autopilot.
Mindfulness has been shown to help improve your happiness and resilience and also to reduce your stress.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s one of the most serious health issues we face as adults. There are many things you can do to improve your heart health, but there’s perhaps nothing more fun than giving your heart a boost with a vacation.
Studies found that people who took very few vacations were twice as likely to have a coronary death or heart attack than people who took a few breaks every year.
A 2019 study found that for every additional vacation taken, the incidence of metabolic syndrome went down by 25%. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that puts you at higher risk of heart disease.
We don’t fully understand all the ways vacations might improve heart health, but a lot of it probably has to do with reduced stress. Vacations can lower stress, which can in turn lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
The health of our brain largely contributes to our longevity and quality of life.
When you take vacations, you can improve the creative juices so-to-speak that flow through your brain.
Traveling abroad to a foreign country is especially good for your brain and creativity. It can renew your perspective and allow you to think in a new, fresh way.
Traveling can lower your risk of depression too. This could be not only because of the effects of the vacation itself and the stress relief but also because trip-planning gives you something to look forward to.
When you travel, and especially to different countries, you can challenge yourself, which is good for the health of your brain. You might run into situations that require some creative thinking, especially if you don’t know the language, which means you have to be resourceful. This is empowering.
When your brain is introduced to new experiences, it can have benefits at the cellular level. You’re getting cognitive stimulation, and this exposure to new things improves concentration and memory.
Strengthen Your Relationships
We know that having a robust social support network is essential for our overall health and well-being. The relationships you have with people in your life will sustain you in challenging times, and having a support system can help promote better physical and mental health.
If you travel with the people you love, then it can strengthen the bonds you have with those people. You’ll have the benefit of shared experiences and memories, you can face challenges that might arise together, and you have the opportunity to once again get to know each other outside of the grind of daily life.
When you travel, you’ll enjoy the experiences but it’ll also make you appreciate your home more. That shift in perspective is valuable because it’ll make you a more grateful person. More grateful people tend to be happier overall, and happiness can equate with better physical health.
In America, there is such an unfortunate misconception that travel is an unnecessary luxury. Many people in the U.S. have it in their mind that they shouldn’t take breaks from work or home life, but the reality is that traveling regularly will help make you a stronger employee, partner, and parent. It will also help you be a healthier, happier person.
Travel should very much be part of your life because there are too many benefits to overlook.