Do you go on vacation, have a blast and quickly fall back into the humdrum of daily routine and stress of work? Well, you’re not alone.
A study done last summer by a few German universities found that while vacationing is good for a person’s overall health and well-being, the relaxation effects of a vacation may quickly fade. Though you may catch up on sleep during your vacation, after a week back at work, you quickly fall back into a routine of being overtired and stressed. However, the study only focused on winter vacations and on people who went skiing (or other winter-time sports). What would the results be if the study focused on folks who went to a beach for a week and did nothing but relax on a sandy beach with a book? Studies have shown that vacations in warmer climates may make people feel better and more relaxed.
While it’s true that the benefits of vacationing may not last long enough, there’s no arguing that a break in your normal everyday routine has advantages to your health and well being. In particular, heading to a foreign country may have even more benefits. A recent research study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that adapting to a foreign culture can enhance your creativity. Turns out that listening to people around you talk in a language you don’t speak while trying a dessert with an exotic flavor is really great for your brain health.
Plus, vacations are a respite from stress and fatigue and have been linked to enhanced focus and creativity. Getting away helps us recharge, reconnect with loved ones and ourselves so we can come back to work and our normal lives with a little extra pizzazz.
So go and enjoy yourself, enjoy the relaxation, and once you get back to work, pace yourself.
Finally, if there are no trips planned for you this summer, maybe it’s time to redecorate. Other research suggests looking at tranquil pictures helps your brain take a mini-vacation. Psychologically speaking, peace is associated with the brain’s ability to rest, or a period in which a person does not have to focus on a task. In the study, the tranquil beach scenes prompted a higher response in brain areas that are associated with mental rest.