Jet, Set, Go!
Jet, Set, Go!
-By Disha Suresh
As life becomes more stressful and incomes become more important than fulfilment, it is easy to forget to sit back, relax and take a break. It is scientifically proven that vacations are of utmost importance in increasing work efficiency as it helps students and employees alike take a breather and compose themselves. Endless working without any breaks leads to strokes, hypertension or obesity. What better way is there to escape the monotony of work other than packing bags, hopping on a plane and exploring new lands?
According to international census organisations, India, South Korea and Japan, among other south-east Asian countries rank highest in stress-related ailments. This seems to have a direct relation to the mandated break days given to employees. China ranks lowest on this scale with a mere 5 days while countries like India and Japan follow. The Chinese have been known for making their workers work the hardest, without any breaks. Meanwhile, workers in Scandinavian countries enjoy close to 20-25 days of leave. This directly corresponds with the global happiness index, which consistently ranks Norway and Denmark as the happiest and most stress-free countries. Hence, vacations are vital in relieving stress.
According to research published in Psychosomatic Medicine, individuals who spend time in leisurely activities like vacations had reduced cortisol levels. High cortisol levels have been linked to increased blood pressure. As the BP drops, so does the risk of heart attacks. Vacations also assist in weight loss and increased physical activities. Hence, vacations have a plethora of positive effects on the physiological conditions of the body. Stress takes a massive toll on mental health. So, a vacation can help in improving mental health conditions. This includes anxiety and depression. Levels of cortisol have been linked to anxiety and depressive disorders. Hence lower levels of the hormone lead to lower agitations of mental health disorders. It is seen that spending time amidst nature and beauty reduces the prevalence of depressions and similar symptoms.
Vacations also have links to a better immune system. Consumption of foreign food and introducing varying diets to the digestive system can strengthen the gut. Cortisol levels also have relations to digestion-related ailments such as acidity, indigestion and flatulence. Hence, a good holiday equals good gut. An unintended pro of vacations is the prevalence of fewer wrinkles. Stress triggers a response throughout the body that causes cellular ageing. Stress also helps in improving one’s sleep cycle and duration, irrespective of the jet lag.
Artists, including musicians, painters and writers have been known to fall in love with the beauty of places that they have been visiting. The variety of works that have emerged from such inspiration is proof to the fact that vacations increase creativity. Staring at the same four walls tends to block the mind of a creator. A vacation opens the mind and the eyes of an artist to the beauty present outside one’s own land. It exposes them to various cultures, people and experiences and out of this comes beautiful work. Examples include Rabindranath Tagore, Vincent van Gogh, Robert Frost and Toto.
Multiple studies show that participating in leisure activities can increase workplace productivity and efficiency. This means that a few days at a beach can cure the burnouts of college or work.
Vacations, more importantly, help people in gaining knowledge. Exposure to foreign cultures, food and people open up new doors for individuals. This increases globalisation and interaction of different ideologies, opinions, material products and language. This helps in creating harmony and increasing sensitisation in human beings.