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Why you should use your vacation days

In 2016, 54% of employees left unused vacation time on the table, throwing away 662 million vacation days in total, according to the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off annual study.

As Fortune reports, taking a vacation and disconnecting yourself from work is essential. A few tips that might help you include:

Remember vacations are good for your personal health

Vacations are a great source for relieving stress. Even physical complaints like headaches and backaches can disappear for up to five weeks after a holiday, a study from the University of Vienna found. Furthermore, workers who take vacations are less likely to get heart disease, according to Monster.

Not working will make you a better worker

Despite popular belief, taking time off work will transform you into a more efficient employee than putting more time in. In 2006, Ernst&Young did an internal study on its own employees and discovered that for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their overall performance improved by 8%, as the New York Times reports. Furthermore, changing the scenery might help you gain perspective.

Leave work behind

The hardest part when taking a vacation is focusing solely on it, without giving in to the temptation of checking work-related emails and voicemails. In order to keep yourself away from work, you can either write down in a notebook work-related thoughts and let them rest there or give money to your travel buddy whenever you check in at the office, as career expert Vicki Salemi suggests.

Be unapologetic

Some people avoid taking time off either because they think no one else can do the job or they fear their absence will create chaos. Those feelings may come from a boss who makes you feel guilty for taking a well-deserved holiday.

Daisy Wilder