By Kab. Johanna Lois Serohijos

WHAT comes to mind when you come across the words vacation, holidaytraveling?

For a long time, the working class has never considered going on a vacation as an activity they can enjoy. These are for two major reasons: (1) Going on a holiday is usually associated as something only the people in the higher class could afford, but thanks to the rise of budget airlines and thrifty-trip ideas being passed around the internet, money has not so much become an issue anymore. (2) People think that taking a holiday means taking a day to sabotage your own self at work, thinking that it is an open invitation for stress to come your way with overstocked paperworks piling up, missed work meetings and announcements, my-team-cannot-function-without-me mentality, or thinking your boss might think you’re pulling weight off what you’re paid for, etc.

While some of us are still stuck on how to go about reason number 2, we fail to see the real score on why going on a break is essential to our health and overall well-being. Studies show that those who go for a break do come back with a happier, less-stressful, and more efficient work mood. And, as long as you have permitted leaves on your contract, what is there to be guilty about?

According to the 1992 Framingham Heart Study, men who don’t take vacations were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, and for women 50 percent. This is due to our body’s natural reaction to a stressful lifestyle. Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One Has the Time, points out that those who don’t take time off are sicker, less productive, stressed, and more anxious and depressed. And these things are big factors that lead to negative effects in your work.

Photo by Roel Castrodes

Imagine yourself going on a run, when it gets tiresome or you’re getting out of breath, you slowly take a halt to relax, and when you’re feeling better, you go and run again. This is our body’s reflex when the running becomes a bit stressful. Compare the running pace of someone who takes a break once in a while with someone who exhausts his body up to the last. The former is more likely to end the race with more energy than the latter. Taking a vacay is of the same manner. Take “going on a vacation” as a mental break, a breather, a refresher, a pause so that you can come back to work more productive, more energized, more engaged, more creative, and more determined and with a whole new perspective to put on the table.

Reframe and re-analyze. If you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of your work and with your life in general? Remember that it is okay to think you deserve a treat like this. So go ahead, take a shot on a euphoric holiday. Your body, mind, and soul (and maybe even your boss too) will immensely thank you for it.