Benefits of Completely Disconnecting While Vacationing

There is a renewed push to get Americans to reclaim their hard-earned time off. If you are having difficulty disconnecting from your job, you're not alone.

"There's 429 million vacation days that go unused every year," says Katie Dennis of U.S. Travel Association.

You can say America is suffering from vacation deficit disorder, and it is so close to crisis proportions that there was actually a summit meeting in Manhattan recently.

"We need to understand as employers, we need to create an entire environment where it is acceptable to be on vacation, where you can embrace and when you go away you can unplug," says David Palmer, President of Diamond Resorts International.

Educating companies about the benefits of a rejuvenated workforce is key to productivity.

"Vacations themselves are a profit center and not a loss center, because if you let the employee take a vacation, they come back happier, they give the customer a better experience and that customer wants to share it with his network," says Marketing and Customer Service Futurist Peter Shankman.

Some of us who do manage to get away still do not get it.

"If you are checking back in on your vacation you are not on vacation. because you have not made mental detachment,” says Stress Management and Productivity Trainer  Joe Robinson.

The issue of cutting the computer cable on vacation is further complicated by the mania over online social sharing.

"When we say 'totally disconnect,' we obviously provide Wi-Fi at all of our resorts, so we are giving people the opportunity to stay connected. We'd like for them to stay connected though watching Netflix or doing something else and not connecting back to the office,” says Palmer.

Connected or not, taking a vacation is good for your health.

"When you are calming down and taking time off for yourself, and reducing the stress and doing something you love, all the adrenal dysfunction, the cortisol levels, they all go down - the adrenaline - and that has a beneficial effect on our body," explains Dr. Leigh Vinocur of American College of Emergency Physicians.

So what's the perfect prescription?

"You need two weeks. That's what I really strongly would recommend. That's what the studies show. That provides the most recuperative benefits," says Robinson.

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