In Nigeria today, not many people have adopted a very important habit of taking vacations during the course of the year.
Even when granted work leave, a lot of people still feel weird about actually relaxing, so they take up other temporary jobs, take up more responsibilities in church or participate in some new business.
The truth is that for you to really live a healthy life, you need to ensure that a regular vacation becomes a part of your yearly plan.
In this post, we’ll be discussing the benefits of a vacation to your health, just to give you solid scientific reasons why you should take one routinely.
1. It reduces stress
A lot of people are burnt out during the course of the year, a vacation helps to refresh, rest and cater to your body and mind. If you visit many clinics, you’ll realise that most of the health complaints can be somewhat related to stress and tight schedules. Some diseases that are closely related to stress are the common cold, malaria, chronic fatigue, and even psychological problems.
When you take a vacation, you give your body the chance to rejuvenate, boosting your immunity and mental state. You don’t have to go abroad to take a break, you simply carry a backpack and visit a resort within your city or other tourist attractions within Nigeria. If you save up some money, you can also avoid visa hassles by visiting one of the 44 visa-free countries for Nigerian passport holders.
2. It prevents chronic diseases
The human body wasn’t designed to work indefinitely, this is why most countries that seriously value the lives of their citizens, limit how many hours of work a person can undertake per week.
When you don’t take your time off, you increase the likelihood of developing chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes or heart conditions.
How this works is that when your schedule is indefinitely packed, you have less time to care for yourself, to eat healthily or to even exercise.
When you take a break, you can try to start good habits like healthy eating and routine exercise. You can then continue these habits when you resume back to work. This, in turn, ensures that you stay healthy and prevents these conditions that are linked to a bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
3. It corrects your sleep pattern
Many workers today are sleep deprived. A bad sleep pattern can impact your health negatively. Ideally, the average adult should have about 7-9 hours of sleep every day for optimal physical and mental health. If you review how much sleep you get per day, you might realise that you are 2-3 hours short of the standard.
Examples of conditions linked with poor sleep are insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep talking, sleep paralysis and narcolepsy.
When you take a holiday, you have the opportunity to sleep as much as your body asks for without any pressure or fear of deadlines or traffic. You can also try to build an 8-hour sleep plan that you can attempt every day of the holiday so that it becomes your new pattern. When you resume at your office, you can just try your best to maintain this sleep schedule. You’ll soon notice that your productivity will be a lot better than what it used to be.
4. It helps your social life
Your social life is an important part of your mental health. If you are an extremely busy person who only prioritises work, you may begin to experience a strain in your relationships with your spouse, friends, and family members.
Taking a break can help you refocus your mind from work, giving you a better and holistic view of life. You can then take time to improve your relationships, this will make you feel better, more appreciated and ultimately boost your self-esteem. Better still, you can try to go on family vacations, so that the whole family can see this period as a better opportunity to bond and catch up on things that might have been missed when everyone was very occupied with school or work.
Now, it’s time for you to practice what you have read and make a definite plan to take a well-planned vacation. Take your pen and write someplace you could go to when you take your annual leave, even if it’s for just a week. You don’t have to go far, you can try out a resort in your city or somewhere safe in the country.
Dr. Charles-Davies is a trained medical doctor who’s worked in many clinics and hospitals in Nigeria.
He loves to advocate for a healthy lifestyle by sharing health-related posts on the internet.
For fun, he loves to travel and sometimes blogs at travelefficiency