It’s the beginning of August, and most of the world has left not just their offices or even their cities but their countries for weeks, even the whole month, for vacation. When they come back, they’re more productive, feel better and are physically healthier.
Consider this your doctor’s note and start making plans.
Money can buy happiness
That “money can’t buy happiness” adage has one big caveat. When you invest in an experience, the good feelings begin well before you set out, Cornell University researchers found.
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The anticipation is a great series of mood-boosters (pro tip: Make the most of this effect by booking a few months ahead next year). Trips fill our need to indulge and express an aspect of our identity in a way an impersonal object can’t match. The satisfaction we get from discussing the trip afterward lasts for months, even years.
Reboot your brain
One sure sign you need a vacation: catching yourself wondering how it’s the end of the week already every Friday morning. Routine literally lulls the brain to sleep; time feels like it’s passing quickly simply because you’re not paying attention to anything.
But when you’re about to take a cruise for the first time or zipline through a jungle in South America, it’s all hands on deck as your mind tries to process all the new information flooding in. The richness of your experiences is what’s actually making time feel like it’s passing more slowly. This is just one way your brain gets rebooted when you take it out of cruise control — and maybe, your perspective on daily life will be refreshed, too.