It turns out that mini-vacations are in and long vacations that offer little residual long-lasting emotional reward are out!
I’m not suggesting you never jump on a jet and head somewhere in the world you’ve never been before. Vacations are very stimulating. It’s just that once or twice a year (if you’re lucky) isn’t enough to keep those mental and emotional fires burning strong week-to-week.
You all need to get out more and experience the benefits of the mini-vacation. Including the often less-weighty price tag that heading to the next town, city, state, or province can offer over a full blown trip across the ocean!
Here’s 3 proven benefits of heading out for a mini-vacation this weekend, regardless when the ‘week’ ends for you:
1. Sitting too much will kill you faster.
Sitting for too long can shorten your lifespan. By how much, nobody knows yet. Though, there are a ton of studies claiming you could be losing a decade or more at least on average. Others I’ve seen make the claim that you lose an extra hour of life down the road, for every 8 hours sat. Or some such thing.
The big problem is the damage sitting does to the vascular system. In particular, circulation is restricted and your heart and lungs aren’t being pushed to get any stronger. Sedentary lifestyle is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. Get out and do something, this weekend and every other.
Sitting definitely leads to a heightened risk of diabetes and other deadly metabolic disorders.
2. Vacation happiness quickly fades in the mind and spirit.
Surely a week-long getaway will help refresh and revitalize you for the winter’s worth of work looming on the horizon? Well, it will for a few short moments in your otherwise long life, but the effects soon fade after the vacay is over.
Studies like this one show that very few vacationers are any happier after a vacation than they were before they left. Several reported a little happiness leading up to the vacation, and were certainly happy during, but that sense of excitement quickly faded upon returning to their otherwise normal life.
People who regularly take weekends, however, report a greater sense of well-being in all aspects of their life which is most likely due to the TGIF factor making the work week go by that much faster.
3. Regularly experiencing new scenery makes you more creative all the time.
New scenery doesn’t just boost creativity a little bit. It boost it a lot.
Perhaps permanently if you get out enough. Seeing new things invigorates the brain and spirit by tuning into our innate survival instincts and resting key areas of the brain; like the prefrontal cortex, responsible for critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.
If you really want to hit a double-whammy in the creativity department at work, you also need to unplug from technology and get out on the trail. Any trail, doing whatever activity makes you feel good! This study from a few years ago showed people who unplugged and got out on the trail (ie., nature) improved their overall creativity by up to 50% after being unplugged from the digital world for a while.
I believe any vacation, anywhere, can have this same positive affect on one’s creativity. However, Attention Restoration Theory specifically states that being unplugged and simultaneously in nature is really the best medicine for boosting creativity in life and at work.
Ready, set, go!
What are you doing this weekend?
Have I convinced you that you’re overdue for a mini-vacation? And, not just this weekend, but every weekend from here on out?
Main Image Credit: enderMC/Flickr