Regularly scheduled vacations are a wonderful way to put “life” back into your existence. 

The travel company Expedia conducted an International Vacation Deprivation Survey and found that more than one-third of employed U.S. adults (34%) reported feeling better about their job and feeling more productive at it after a vacation.

Respondents also reported feeling closer to their family after a vacation. During a 20-year follow-up of women participants, the Framingham Heart Study found an association between infrequent vacationing and increased incidence of death from coronary causes.

Another study found that men who developed psychosomatic illnesses were less likely to take vacations than were men who never developed such illnesses. Doctors Gump and Matthews found, in their nine-year study of more than 12,000 men, that annual vacations were associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. The specific cause of death most strongly associated with inadequate vacationing was coronary heart disease.

Vacations can come in all shapes and sizes. You can get the vacation “glow” by taking your vacation time in small intervals, such as two to four days. Fatigue, neck pain, headaches and backaches can all be a signal that it is time for a break. A vacation might be “just what the doctor ordered.”

No question, our bodies are made for work and for rest. Most of us have no problem working, but we need to learn how to rest. You don’t have to feel guilty about taking rest! Enjoy the re-creation. You can “rest assured” that getting enough sleep, enjoying weekly down time and taking relaxing vacations will improve your whole health.