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Travel_iconIn his book Go Away: Just For The Health Of It, Dr Mel Byrns writes that for every dollar that companies save on holiday time that is not taken, they lose as much as seven dollars in costs related to employee burnout. This is why it is important to take a holiday. What is more, if you think of a holiday as a mission to explore your interests and hobbies, it will have greater benefits, some of which are listed below.

1. Improved productivity: An Expedia survey found that 45% of Americans felt “they come back to work feeling rested, rejuvenated, and reconnected to their personal life” after a holiday;  35% said “they return from vacation feeling better about their job and feeling more productive.”

If the time away has been spent in pursuit of a passion, the benefits are greater, so if your passion is to indulge in athletic activities, choose a holiday that involves camping, fishing, kayaking or mountaineering. Studies show that people think more creatively when they are away from work, so explore inspiring, learning-oriented holiday options; take some culinary, filmmaking, glassblowing, painting, photography or sculpting courses.

2. Health benefits. Time away from work allows the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. According to a University of Pittsburgh study, employees who participated in leisure activities, including holidays, suffered less from depression than those who didn’t. Other benefits include lower blood pressure, healthier weight levels, decreased risk of heart disease and improved reaction times.

Psychologists also advocate holidays for mental health. Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist specialising in stress and relationship management says, “Most people have a better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation.” If your focus is on your health and well-being, choose a spa, yoga or wellness retreat, fitness boot camp or choose to spend your vacation time at a golf or tennis resort.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, eLearning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 19, 2013.