According to studies by the US Travel Association, about half of us – employees in America – end a typical work year with unused vacation days on the books. And when you dig in further on the numbers, that equates to more than $50 billion in lost benefits.

That’s crazy!

Especially when there’s “…an unmistakably strong correlation between travel and happiness…” Fortunately, smart employers are beginning to recognize this and adjust their stance on PTO (Paid Time Off).

Here are four good reasons to take full advantage of your PTO:

Bust stress

Taking a break from the everyday hustle and grind is essential for reversing the effects of stress on your physical and mental health. Left unchecked, mounting stress can contribute to a host of problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Recharge your batteries

Pacing down gives you a chance to look at life from the sidelines, to reevaluate your position from a different point of view. You come back from time off work with a renewed purpose and a keener focus on your short- and long-term goals.

Enhance creativity

Your brain never stops. And when you give it a rest from the constant barrage at the office, it picks up nuances all around you. Suddenly you have new ideas, you’re more visionary, and your avant-garde self is inspired to innovate.

Be happy

Truth is, when you’re happy you’re more relaxed. And knowing how to relax is an important skill to have when dealing with work/life stress. In addition, you’ll build stronger bonds with your teammates and be more productive overall.

So, when you show up for work tomorrow, put in for that long overdue PTO, set your out-of-office messages and reap the benefits of a healthier, more balanced existence.

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