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America, We Need to Talk About Those Vacation Days You're Forfeiting

Being a product of a capitalist society, we as Americans are focused on one thing and one thing only—work, work, work, work, work, as Rihanna would say.

Our worth is measured by our productivity, so that doesn't leave much time for rest.

In a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics, and Ipsos, it was found that Americans didn't use 768 million vacation days in 2018. If that number feels astronomically high to you, that's because it is.

According to CNN Travel, "Fifty-five percent of workers reported that they did not use all of their vacation days."

Listen, we understand stepping away from the job is made out to be more difficult than it is. You feel like the company will completely crumble without you there to do your job. That isn't the case, however.

And with the pandemic still sweeping through the nation, taking a vacation seems near impossible. That also isn't true. You can still take your time off during the coronavirus.

We're breaking down why you need to use your vacation time and how to make the most of it below, so keep scrolling!

Black woman on her laptop in an office while looking out the window at something out of frame

Why You Need to Stop Forfeiting Vacation Days

Vacation days are meant to be used. And there are a number of reasons why.

Working Too Much Causes Burnout

Once you're trapped in the cycle, it often feels difficult to take some time off work. You may believe that continuously working will make you more productive, but that isn't the case. Working too much and too often without any sort of break can cause burnout. And that won't make you a very good employee. All work and no play, well, you know how that goes. So, give yourself room to play and enjoy life.

You're a Happier Person When You Have Time to Recharge

No one enjoys working all the time. Even people who love their jobs need a break from them every now and then. When you're allowed to step back and do something for you, you gain a bit of happiness back that might've been lost from all those hours spent at a desk. We're also better individuals when we're happy. Not to mention, it will also make us better workers when we come back. Put your happiness first!

Your Health Is on the Line

Working takes a toll on your mental health, as you're likely already aware. What you may not know is that it also harms your physical health. Jobs are a huge stressor, so this can cause a long list of stress-related illnesses to break your body down. If you want to live forever, start using your vacation days.

No One Wishes They Spent More Time at the Office

This may sound bleak, but when you're on your deathbed, you're not going to wish you spent more hours working. Heck, you're not even going to think about the time you spent at the office. You'll reflect on the happiest moments of your life and the memories that matter the most. And a lot of those are made when we're out exploring the world and who we are in the process.

How to Make the Most of Your Vacation Days

We're in the midst of a global pandemic, so vacations look a little bit different now. Still, that doesn't mean you can't make the most of them. Here's how.

Completely Disconnect From Work

Don't check your emails or anything related to your work life while you're on your vacation. This is your time, not your work's time. Take it for yourself by maybe even temporarily deleting your email off your phone and not answering any texts or calls related to work. Your coworkers can manage without you, we promise.

Don't Let Your Guilt Control You

We live in a capitalist society, where our worth is measured by our productivity. So when we aren't being productive per say, it's easy to feel guilty. You may start to have these feelings during your time away from the office, which is completely valid. Feel them, but don't act on them. You shouldn't feel bad about using your time for yourself. Live up your vacation!

Enjoy Yourself

This is your vacation, so do what you want to do. But also, don't put too much pressure on your time off having to be this life-changing experience. Sometimes taking a few days off to catch up on Netflix or go camping is all you need to recharge. Whatever you feel you need, do it. This time is for you and no one else.

In need of a somewhat safe vacation option during the pandemic? Check out America's most epic road trips HERE!

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