You need a vacation. Now. Seriously.

If you’re one of those workers who never seems to take time off, this is your wake up call to put in for some real time off. If not for a whole week, then at least a chunk of time that gives you three or four days off in a row. Why is taking vacation time so important? Simply put, taking time off that’s given to you by your employer will make you a better worker and a happier person.

And, no, taking vacation days to get your mammogram done and your contact lenses renewed doesn’t count. Although we are almost all guilty of tossing away some vacation days to take care of personal business, vacation days are there for a reason.

Here are four top reasons to take your time.

You Need It

No one can work at a steady clip without a break and remain productive. No matter how much you love your job, doing it constantly can get to be a grind every now and then. Your body and your mind need time to do something else.

It’s Time for Fun

You may not be able to take a two-week vacation to paradise, but a couple of days off can work wonders. Sometimes a morning of catching up on a hobby followed by an afternoon of back-to-back movies and meeting up with friends for dinner is as close to paradise as you might get. It’s still worth it and if it’s all you can manage, take it. The point is to enjoy being away from work.

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Your Health Depends on It

Yes, some people do spend vacations overindulging, but more often people on vacation get more sleep and also get more exercise. They eat foods they enjoy at a slower pace and often with people they want to be with. They usually take time to do what interests them, whether that’s a day-long hike or a day-long session with a stack of books. And a lot of vacation time finds people outside more then they are normally able to be. Can’t you just feel your blood pressure going down?

Your Creativity Needs a Boost

Shaking up your routine frees your brain to think in new ways. When your head isn’t full of all the daily details of your work, you have the time and energy to let new ideas float to the surface. Time off can actually boost your creativity and give you a new perspective.

You can probably think of a few more reasons. While you’re doing that, pick the days you want to take off and put in your request to work. You won’t regret it.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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