In Europe they are getting ready to start their month long vacation season. While it is the norm in Europe to take a month long vacation, we in America often find it difficult to get away for a short vacation. In a recent article in The Economist, Bartleby writes that taking short vacations actually adds stress to your life and taking longer vacations brings relief from stress.
Why is it then at we as Americans find it so hard to relax and take time off? I believe we live in such a fast paced environment that our body can’t relax while on vacation. It’s like a drug. Which make sense, the fast paced environment causes an increase in adrenaline, a drug that our body creates and craves. I know personally that I find myself going longer and harder while on vacation in order to see and do everything I want while in the area. When I come back from vacation I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.
When we are stressed or in a state of alert our bodies produces adrenaline. This is the hormone that gives up that extra speed when we are being chased or makes our heart race when we hear that bump in the night. The constant high levels of adrenaline, just like any other drug, causes it to become less effective the longer you take it on a regular basis. In addition, adrenal fatigue can set in. This is where your adrenal glands become tired and don’t produce as much adrenaline as they could if rested. This leads to fatigue and tiredness and it all goes down hill from there.
Taking longer vacations leads to higher productivity when the person is rested. The longer vacation that includes time for rest and recovery gives our bodies a chance to heal and restore. When you are rested and restored, you are more productive. Any time lost due to a longer vacation will actually be made up in the increased productivity at work.
So take a moment now and plan your next long vacation.