Are Vacations Actually Worthwhile?

by Female Abroad

Sure, no one loves to work, but are vacations actually worthwhile to take, or should we just keep working? Time away from work has been shown to not only help with your health but also your productivity, but do trips away actually make things better or worse?

Well, studies are starting to show that a person's mood when they return is the same as a person who did not go on vacation. This means that while you had a lot of fun on vacation and were not working, as soon as you step back into the office, it is like you never left. The bigger question is why?

A team from Erasmus University Rotterdam and NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences published a study online in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010. They noted that the anticipation of a vacation makes people very happy; usually people are excited to see the days getting closer to their vacation approaching. However, most people do suffer from depression-like symptoms after their vacation.

There are a few things you can do to prevent "Post Vacation Depression":

  1. take a relaxing vacation
    a vacation that is super busy or jam packed does not leave you any time to unwind and will actually make you need a vacation from your vacation. The study shows prolonged happiness after the vacation when you return to normal life.

  2. take shorter but more frequent breaks
    studies are starting to show that taking two, one week vacations provides more of a mood boost / break then taking one, two week vacation or take the full two weeks but only travel for one week, giving yourself a week at home to unwind / settle

  3. find a sense of purpose / keep busy
    focus on something important that takes your mind off of how much you miss the trip you just finished

  4. sort through your photos; share on social media or make an album
    this will help you realize that the trip is tangible, help you remember things you might have forgotten, and takes your mind off the fact that you are home

  5. start planning your next trip!
    I'm horrible and usually start planning my next trip before my current one ends. When I get home, this is how I keep myself busy.