This year we need a vacation probably more than ever after the three long months of staying at home. Even though you may not be able to travel far, this is a great opportunity to explore locally and discover new destinations in your own state, province or country.
Escaping everyday routine and changing the usual setting benefits your mental and physical health and boosts your well-being. Many positives await when you leave your frustrations at home and immerse yourself in a fun, new environment, and they are backed by science.
1- Stress Relief: several studies support the stress-busting benefit of vacations. They found that getaways help you relax by removing you from your usual stressors, which helps lower the level of cortisol – your long-term stress hormone.
One study found that it takes most people a few days to feel the stress melt away. This goes in line with the results of another study, which showed that stress-related gene activity was changed for those on vacation. So, it’s more than just a feeling.
2- Vacations Make You Feel Better: when you get away from your regular responsibilities, it’s easier to achieve that care-free, easy-going attitude. Besides, exciting adventures, new experiences, admiring beautiful views, engaging in fun activities you love, or just relaxing on the beach causes your brain to release dopamine – your happiness hormone.
3 – Your Brain Loves Vacations! And there’s a good scientific reason for that:
- research shows that relaxation helps your brain learn new skills and retain information better
- downtime also lets your brain make new connections and fosters creativity
- travelling to new places puts you in unusual environments that require problem-solving and adapting to different situations. This exercises your brain helping to keep it strong and healthy.
4 – Boosting Your Immune System: vacations not only help your brain to learn, they also teach your immune system new ways to better protect you.
Traveling to different places exposes you to different microbes.
This exposure adds to your immunity database. [Here’s how it works: Antigens are proteins that identify unique pathogens. Your immune system uses these as bar codes that trigger the creation of a unique antibody. These y-shaped proteins attach to pathogens and mark them for attack. And this protection is very long lasting—in some cases, a lifetime.] look up: acquired/ learned immunity
5 – Better Relationships: Instead of days filled with work and chores, a vacation is the time you spend with the people you love. Research shows that this quality time, away from everything, helps build and strengthen relationships with family, friends or spouse. New discoveries, lifetime memories and shared experiences bring you closer to some of the most important people in your life.
Reduced stress. Better mood. Improved creativity. Stronger immunity. New, memorable experiences. Improved connections with friends, family, or your spouse. It all adds up to the most important health benefits of vacations: happiness and satisfaction.
So, go ahead, pack your bags and make your dream about relaxing on the beach a reality! It might be just what you need.