The alarm clock goes off. We hit snooze once, twice, three times. Getting up and going seems more difficult every day.  Maybe it’s time to take a vacation. But, the piles of work on our desks keep us from scheduling time off.  Did you know that most American workers do not take all of their vacation time?  So, is it any wonder that we feel overworked and stressed?

An ABC study shows vacations help us manage stress now – and in the future. Not taking time off can make it difficult for our bodies and minds to relax now and in the future.

According to an article in Psychology Today, “Chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body’s ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even ability to avoid injury. When you’re stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you’re more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won’t digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you’ll make poorer decisions. You’ll also be less fun to be with, causing you to become more isolated, lonely, and depressed.”

So, one of the most important things that we can do for our employers and  co-workers is use our vacation time, unwind, unplug our devices and recharge our mind and body with rest.