25 days, 600 hours, 36,000 minutes – you get the picture. This is the amount of time most of us are allowed, as workers in the UK, that we can spend on our holidays. It is truly the most cherished time of any worker-bees’ entire year. It has to be used strategically to get the absolute most of those 36,000 minutes.
In this brilliant infographic from Expedia, they’ve collated research about why, according to science, our brains crave holidays so desperately. They write: “if you work hard, then you should play hard – but are we getting the balance right? Many of us save up our vacation time but then don’t follow through on taking time off, leaving our brains tired and overstretched”.
So let’s begin by, as we do in scientific practice, establishing quantitative measurements for how hard we are working. According to studies: 40% of workers feel as if they can’t justify taking time off which is absolutely ridiculous. Nearly half of us are apprehensive about using our appointed holiday time!
Similarly 57% of workers have unused vacation time at the end of the year. Apart from the extra pay, what kind of state of mind does one have to be in to skip on days off of work? An over-worked one, that’s what.
Here are a few of our favourite reasons our brain craves holidays so much:
- You’ll live longer: Workers who take regular holidays can reduce their risk of disease by 21% according to clinical trials back in 2000. Who knew that our Friday Feeling was more flight or fight than anything?!
- Inspires creativity: A number of studies demonstrate that taking time off to explore unknown destinations stimulates creativity. Great for clearing your mind out of stale ideas.
- Improves sleep: People sleep, typically, one hour more after coming from a holiday – which has resulted in a 30-40% improvement in reaction time.