According to Fortune Magazine, while 96% of American workers say that vacation time is important to them, 54% of them didn’t use their earned time adding up to 662 million hours of vacation time going back to companies. That’s $604 earned dollars we’ve given back to our employers.
Why is this a mental health concern?
Heart disease is the number one killer in the country because of sedentary lifestyles and stress. Stress is significant because of the associated hormone, cortisol, causes a high blood pressure and a buildup of midsection fat and also our view on our lives causing burnout and depression, mental illness and shorter lifespans. Cortisol also causes us to crave fatty and sugary foods.
Many cite affordability as a reason they don’t take a vacation. A vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant to be effective.
One study in Australia showed that just 30 minutes in nature once a week reduces stress. If you’re here in the DFW area, there are many fantastic nature trails, and many are free or very inexpensive. In North Richland Hills, we have over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Even looking at a picture of a nature scene reduces stress. I recently found a YouTube channel with some beautiful, ultra-high definition videos of nature scenes that run for hours. You can find the link below.
There are also some great apps out there to reduce stress. The one I use comes from calm.com. There is a website and an app which has free and paid options.
Others think that not taking time off makes them look better to their bosses. Statistics show that people who don’t take time off or more likely to be passed over for promotions or raises.
So I’ve made it a point in my life to start getting outside more and doing healthy things to de-stress at the end of each day. Join me?
So taking off and even having a stay-cation is a win/win. Better health, both physical and mental, and it even may get you that raise you so richly deserve.
Mental Health Peace Officer
North Richland Hills Police Department