Why taking vacation is important for mental health
Mental health · Jul 18, 2022
It’s important to make time for a break.
The link between mental health and time off
When it comes to mental health, improving your mood and
“Vacations remove us from situations we often associate with stress,” says Dr. Susan Siklos, a registered psychologist at
It’s easy to fall into the trap of not taking time off because work is too busy. But time away from your desk can actually have a noticeable impact on your productivity and performance when you are back at work.
How time off can make you more productive
“After a vacation, people usually come back to work more focused, more productive, and often more creative,” says Siklos. “Time away from work gives your brain a chance to reset, which can make it easier to think big picture and have a renewed sense of energy.”
“When people feel more productive, they often feel happier and more fulfilled in their work,” notes Siklos. “This in turn can increase job and life satisfaction, while decreasing anxiety, stress and depression.”
Vacations and physical health
There are physical health benefits to vacation time as well. Studies have shown that vacations can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
Long weekends count
Even if you can’t get away for an extended period of time, you can feel the positive effects of vacation. One
Traveling somewhere isn’t necessary to feel the positive effects either.
Support is available
While taking time off work is an important step in reducing stress, sometimes it may also be helpful to speak with someone.
Written in consultation with Dr. Susan Siklos, registered psychologist.
1. Hilbrecht, M., & Smale, B. (2016, February 29). The contribution of paid vacation time to wellbeing among employed Canadians. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
2. Nawijn, J., Marchand, M. A., Veenhoven, R., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2010, February 10). Vacationers happier, but most not happier after a holiday - applied research in quality of life. SpringerLink. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
3. Zhang, J. W., & Howell, R. T. (2011). Do time perspectives predict unique variance in life satisfaction beyond personality traits? American Psychological Association. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
4. Joudrey, A. D., & Wallace, J. (2009, February 1). Leisure as a coping resource: A test of the job demand-control-support model. SAGE Journals. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
5, 6, 10, 11.. Blank, C., Gatterer, K., Leichtfried, V., Pollhammer, D., Mair-Raggautz, M., Duschek, S., Humpeler, E., & Schobersberger, W. (2018, January 13). Short vacation improves stress-level and well-being in German-speaking middle-managers-a randomized controlled trial. MDPI. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
7. Shrm. (2021, August 19). SHRM/U.S. Travel Association: Vacation's impact on the workplace. SHRM. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
8. KA;, G. B. B. M. (n.d.). Are vacations good for your health? The 9-year mortality experience after the multiple risk factor intervention trial. Psychosomatic medicine. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from
9. BB;, H. B. P. S. D. B. K. G. (2019, November 6). Do vacations alter the connection between stress and cardiovascular activity? the effects of a planned vacation on the relationship between weekly stress and ambulatory heart rate. Psychology & health. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from