Travel

Your Vacations Should Be at Least This Long

For peak relaxation, stay for 8 days
How Long Should Your Vacation Actually Be?
Photo: Daniel Cheong/Getty Images

If you've ever left a vacation feeling less than relaxed, it might be because you didn't stay long enough. New research in the Journal of Happiness Studies (yes, that's really a thing) suggests that your health and wellness while on vacation actually peaks on the eighth day.

In the study, which focused on vacations longer than 14 days, researchers found that employees were often unable to recover from the effects that stressful work situations have on health and wellness during short breaks (like the weekend). The study sites several reasons for this, including the "increasingly permeable boundaries between work and home domains" and long working hours.

To truly feel refreshed, the study suggests that your mind needs time to forget and remove itself from the working mind-set, which takes about eight days.  

Unfortunately, researchers also found that even those who took "long-enough" vacations had a rapid return to baseline health and wellness during their first week back at work. "On the first day of work resumption, positive vacation effects on health and wellness have already entirely faded out," the study says.

Here's to counting down until the next one.

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