Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Using Your Vacation Days

If you live on the east coast, you may have noticed your office is emptier than usual. As the autumn season approaches, many people are skipping out on a few workdays to enjoy the last moments of summer. In the current age of the Health and Wellness industry boom, we have all learned that taking vacations are actually good for our health. Today, more and more employers are encouraging their employees to take vacation time - not only because it prevents employees from burnout but also because stress-free time-off helps boost creativity, concentration and productivity once employees return back to the office.

Unfortunately, many Americans still consider taking their vacation days as a sign of weakness in the workforce. Fear of falling behind in work, competitive co-workers and office expectations keep Americans sitting at their desks for extended periods of time and viewing vacation time as an option, not a necessity. In fact, in 2014, 42% of working Americans didn't take a single vacation day!

A few centuries ago, vacations were a mark of privilege, taken only by the upper class who wanted to participate in sinful, self-indulgent activities. The rest of America, mainly consisting of hard-working religious groups (such as the Puritans) did not take time off except for Sundays. Afraid of falling into the temptations that were present in upper class vacations, the religious lower classes created a new type of vacation - one to rest the mind, body and soul. They started creating their own places of respite that were exclusive to their religious groups, allowing the idea of vacation to become more socially acceptable. These places are still around today in areas such as Martha's Vineyard or the Delaware shore - but have since re-branded as resorts free from religious affiliation.

Though the religious aspect of vacation has mostly gone, the idea of a leisurely vacation has stuck around. And where do we go to spend this leisurely time? Nature of course! It isn't a coincidence that people seem to flock to natural settings like the beach to spend their vacations. Watching the crash and pull of the ocean waves puts us in a meditative state, while hearing the waves de-stimulates our brain. The combination of the 2 actually relaxes us on a neurological level.

Just because the summer is over doesn't mean our vacations should stop but if you max out your PTO before October, you can relax your mind, body and soul through other methods.

Take a walk through the nearest park on your lunch break or practice meditation for 30 minutes a day. Buy some plants for your desk - even a little greenery can lighten your mood and have a positive impact on your mental health.

To learn how CAMA brings nature indoors through design, click here!