We all fantasize about vacations, isn't it about time we take one?

We have a problem in America. Somewhere along the way, we began coming up with excuses as to why we can't take a vacation. Often times it comes down to money or time. I know this, because I've done it. I've used these same excuses and have let those precious PTO days pass me by. Why? Why are American only taking off half of the days they have earned?

That's a question for another day. I'm here to tell you all of the reasons you should take a vacation. I'll admit that I haven't taken a proper vacation in about a year or so. I just got back from a few days in Miami and feel like a completely new person. And that feeling isn't limited to just my job.

Here are five reason you should take that vacation now...

Get Out of the Office

Even if you absolutely love your job, like I do, there is something to be said about taking a break. My job is extremely creative and forced creativity day after day can leave you feeling completely drained. I'm sure this also happens in very logical and physical jobs as well. Stepping away from even just a long weekend can revitalize your passion for your career field and can enable you to bring fresh ideas to the table when you return.

Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends (Old and New)

My trip involved meeting new people and also spending time with some people I hadn't seen in quite a few months. Being able to log some quality time with old friends and even foster new and exciting relationships puts a new pep in your step. We are social beings and interacting with one another is good for our health.

Making Lasting Memories

Raise your hand if you want to reach the age of 80 and the only memories you have are the ones you had plugging away at your office desk. That's not a life fulfilled. Explore new cities and places, visit a family member you may not have in your life much longer, or gather your craziest friends for a rowdy weekend getaway. These are the moments that make up our life.

Boost Your Confidence

For me, it's easy to feel insignificant when I'm throwing myself completely into work. Again, I love my job, but based on the things we've already discussed, taking a vacation gives me confidence. When I can take a trip and do the things that I want to do, I find myself again. I remember who Jess is and I see the Jess I want to be in the future. It sounds strange, but I can't describe it any other way.

Break the Routine

Do you remember the opening scene of the movie Office Space? Watching all of those characters go through the same routine they have had for years, maybe decades, makes me crazy. Vacation tells us to take those norms and throw them out the window. Sleep in, stay up late, indulge in dessert, skip your workout... just do you. It's an experience that is truly freeing and I believe this is what keeps our mental health in check.

Let's break the cycle of not taking a vacation. Find a way to get out of the office for a bit and turn off your email notifications. If you think it's too expensive, try to look at it as an investment in yourself and those around you. If you think you don't have time, then maybe you're not prioritizing correctly. And yes, vacation is a priority. And no, it's not selfish to think that way.

So how will you use your time off?

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