Americans work incredibly hard and deserve to take better vacations. The average American works 44 hours per week and many professionals work 60 or more hours per week. There are a large chunk of Americans working two jobs to make ends meet. In many cases, the work doesn't stop when the worker clocks out. Many people take their work home with them and some people have to be available 24/7 for their jobs. Despite all this working, many people aren't able to take vacations.
In a lot of other countries around the world, it is common for employees to go on paid vacations. In fact, it is expected and required by law. Here in America, the vacation-culture is completely opposite. A lot of companies shun giving out vacation time (especially paid) and there is no law that requires any vacation time--not even one day. People have grown to simply accept this instead of fight against it. There are many reasons that people don't take vacations, even when they are offered. A few of them are:
- They don't get paid vacations and can't afford to take off from work.
- They have too much work to do and taking a vacation will put them behind.
- Taking a vacation from work would make them look "weak" or not as dedicated as other employees.
- Many people may take a vacation, but still work while on vacation from their laptops, smartphones, tablets, or other devices.
It is unfortunate that taking a vacation comes with such stigmas attached to it because not taking them is negatively affecting people's health. People's mental health, physical health, and even their emotional health suffers from not taking vacations.
Health Problems Caused By Not Taking Vacations
One of the biggest consequences of not taking vacations is that people don't get to alleviate their stress. People are stressed about so many things in their life such as taxes, terrorism, education, family problems, etc., and then you add work, wages, and money (which is one of the biggest stressors of all) and you will see that Americans are just a walking pile of stress.
Taking vacations will reduce stress. A vacation where people can just "get away from it all" can relax their mind and body. It can help them to clear their head so that they can be better equipped mentally to deal with all the stressors when the come back.
With loads of stress come heart problems. One study showed that 30 to 50 percent of people who don't take vacations are more likely to have a heart attack. So, essentially, going to the Bahamas for a couple of weeks can save your life.
Health and Other Benefits of Taking Vacations
Besides saving your life (as if that isn't enough), other benefits of taking vacations are:
- Getting better sleep, and more of it.
- Being more productive at work and a better co-worker or leader.
- Improved mood and state of mind.
- Spending quality time with friends and family.
- A better appreciation of your career and motivation to do better.
- Feeling rewarded for the hard work that you put in at your job.
Even though the American culture teaches people to work, work, and work more it is imperative that people find a way to take vacations. Taking vacations can actually make a person a better employee so it is worth taking the time off. People's health will benefit also. Stress will be reduced leading to less stress-related health problems down the line. Just think happy vacation, happy life.