There are exactly 44 days until the start of fall. Have you taken your summer vacation yet?
A 2011 study conducted by Expedia.com shares that the average American earns 14 days of vacation, but only uses 12. I’m going to encourage you to use every single one of them!
Vacation can impact your mood throughout the year, thanks to the savoring effect. The savoring effect is a concept from the field of positive psychology, and occurs when you actively recall positive experiences. In essence, savoring them, similar to the way you might recall the last morsel of a savory lobster dinner. Every time you share a story with a friend, or recall a pleasant memory, the savoring effect kicks in, bringing you back to that blissful state of mind for weeks following a vacation.
Vacation doesn’t only create short-term impacts on your mood. The savoring effect can be triggered throughout the year. The anticipation of a positive experience – like unwinding on vacation – can elicit positive changes in mood. Even planning just one day away from work can induce this. The key to this change in mood is the action of planning, actively having thoughts about the opportunity to relax. The unconscious excitement you have about relaxation is what stimulates your mood days before the opportunity to kick back arrives.
So, take some time for yourself! Not only will you have an awesome experience, but you’ll be reaping the reward all year.
Kate N, MS, CEAP, joined Empathia in 2005 as an EAP Counselor, then became a Performance Specialist in 2012. Kate has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Kate is devoted to helping individuals determine how to make lasting changes. Prior to joining Empathia, she worked in the social work field as a case manager for Child Protective Services. Kate enjoys baking, yoga and escaping into the woods of Northern Wisconsin.