Guilt No More: 13 Reasons You Should Take Your Vacation Time Now

At my last office, there was a clear view of a cruise ship terminal from our conference room.

When meetings got especially intense, heads around the room would turn to the ships leaving the dock. One executive even had the balls to say what the rest of us were thinking: “I wish I was on that cruise ship right now.”

Well, if a 40-something with a six-figure salary felt that way, imagine how us underlings felt.

We were working long hours with a fraction of the pay and recognition. That’s not even counting the unfortunate circumstances we had to deal with when it came to our dating lives and friendships.

We needed vacation.

When we’re handed two weeks of paid time off from our companies, it can feel like a trick. We get nervous we’ll look lazy if we take it; we get nervous we'll position ourselves a dispensable member of the team.

But we need to get over that. We’re given those days for a reason; we’ve earned them.

Our jobs and lives will be waiting for us when we get back. Here are 13 reasons it’s time to take vacation now.

You still feel tired, no matter how many hours of sleep you get.

When we haven’t taken time off, we feel it. We wake up every day and still feel exhausted. It’s the kind of tired that sleep can’t fix.

It’s called a rut, and a vacation is a great way to get out of it. We’ll come back refreshed with way more energy.

It’s good for our health.

We can’t argue with science. According to Health.com, busting our stress ruts with well-deserved breaks is key. It’ll make it easier to fight off colds and the residual weight gain of stress eating.

Two vacations a year also makes us eight times less likely to develop coronary disease. Our hearts are begging us to take time off.

It’s even better for our productivity at work.

We do our best work on Fridays to square everything away before the weekend. We’re willing to put in the elbow grease for those two glorious days off.

In the days leading up to vacation, every day is Friday. We do our best work to tie up all loose ends. And when we come back, our travel afterglow will keep us well-rested and focused.

Going to a new bar is not an adventure.

We all lie to ourselves about the adventures we’re having. We spin that trip to a new bar in a different neighborhood as something from "The Odyssey." It might feel exciting in the moment, but we’re left craving REAL adventure.

We need to see different surroundings, to get lost in a place we don’t know.

We need to get pushed out of our comfort zones.

Being “comfortable” used to have positive connotations: pajamas and vegging out on the couch. But as we grow up, we realize being comfortable in life means we aren’t changing.

Vacations force us to try new things and escape comfort zones. It’s the only way we can evolve.

Planning is just as fun as the vacation itself.

Part of the fun of a trip is the planning process. What amazing Airbnb will you choose? What tours do you need to book in advance? The anticipation is as delicious as the meals you’re planning.

Looking forward to vacation is one of its primary perks.

Our Instagram accounts need new inspiration.

We’re not just doing it for the ‘gram; although, there’s something deeply satisfying about the number of likes we’ll get on our vacation photos.

It’s okay to admit it.

Not taking our vacation days is like not cashing our paychecks.

When our companies offer us medical and dental benefits, we take them and run. But, for some reason, we don’t see our paid time off in the same light.

It’s actually dumb not to take our paid time off; it's almost like the equivalent of giving part of our salaries back to our bosses.

No one is going to thank us for not taking it.

When we don’t take our vacation time, we think it speaks volumes to our dedication. The truth is no one else is paying attention.

No one will thank you for staying in the office day-in and day-out. Executives learned that early on, which is why we see them take as many days off as possible. We should do the same.

It’s a good way to bond with our friends.

Our friendships can fall victim to life ruts when we’ve gone too long without a break.

A trip is just the ticket to spicing up your friendships. It’ll spark the kind of memories and inside jokes that last a lifetime.

We all deserve to unplug and recharge.

Vacation is more than a break from our jobs, it’s a break from reality. It gives us the best excuse to put our phones on silent and experience the world around us.

Detaching from our emails and news feeds is the best opportunity we have to recharge.

Exploration will change our perspectives.

When we’re stuck in the doldrums of a rut, it’s hard to stay positive. We’ll find ourselves annoyed by everything around us: careers, friends and even our favorite baristas.

Travel is an easy way to change our perspectives. It breathes positivity back into our lives and teaches us something new about the world around us.

If not now, when?

There are always excuses not to go on vacation: It’s crunch time at work; our bank accounts are low; we just started dating someone.

But none of those reasons are good enough. If you don’t take time off now, when will you?

Vacation is the quintessential way to seize the day. It’s the ultimate way for us to treat ourselves. It's an experience we’ll never regret.

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