MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Technically, it’s still spring, but summer vacation season is heating up.

Science tells us we all need a break, but studies show only half of all Americans use all the time they’re given.

So, since we’re supposed to taking time away from work, we wondered: How much time do we really need to relax?

We headed to the beach to find answers.

One woman told us she needs three days. Another guy said he needs a week.

Psychologist Nathan Whittier at SKS Consulting Psychologists in Edina says in today’s workplace it can take a while to even get to be able to go.

“In our managers and executives we work with, they often find that it even takes one or two days to even pull away from work in the first place,” he said. “Then, they’re often spending one to two days getting back into it after vacation.”
Whittier added that if we only go away for long weekends we’re less likely to unplug. We have tendency to keep our phones and computers close.

“I’m guilty of the same thing,” he added. “Myself included.”

Whittier thinks a full week allows us travel time, which can also be stressful, and enough time to get through the to-do list many of us still make when we’re away.

That being said, he says it can depend on certain people. He says that some people are really good at letting go, and they can do shorter spurts.

More than anything, Whittier believes we need to make a point of taking a daily break. He says doing that will only help us make the most of our time when we do decide to take a vacation.

Whittier knows that many people experience guilt when they leave work, but he says it’s been shown how time away improves our productivity and creativity, so it can really do a lot of good.

Research has also found that just planning a vacation boosts happiness, but most people said that once they got back that happiness didn’t last long. The study suggests since most of the happiness comes from the anticipation, people may get more out of taking several smaller trips a year.


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