Tell Your Boss: Taking a Vacation Has Proven Health Benefits

We need to talk. It’s a little awkward, and we never thought we’d have to say this, but: You need to start taking more vacations. Seriously. There’s an epidemic going on—a culture of “vacation shaming”—a culture where 46% of young women believe it is a good thing for their boss to see them as a work martyr and a culture where 54% of Americans left unused vacation time on the table last year.

We get it. As Tara Cappel, owner of For the Love of Travel—a group trip company for millennials, young professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs—says, “There is a lot of pressure in the U.S. workplace to work hard, and that is often translated as working more hours. In places like New York, working 60-hour weeks and never taking your vacation is almost like a badge of honor, which is so backward. Ultimately, we’ve developed a culture of workaholism that makes people feel guilty for taking time off.”

It may be even trickier for women. “I think it’s more difficult for women to just pick up and travel because we are more hesitant to go solo. Luckily, wellness is becoming the new face of luxury, and since taking time to reset is such an important part of wellness, I think we will see more and more Americans prioritizing taking their vacation,” Cappel says.

If you’re looking for more motivation to set up your out-of-office email, read on for three reasons you need to use your hard-earned vacation days.