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More Frequent, Not Long Vacations Best for Stress Reduction

More Frequent, Not Long Vacations Best for Stress ReductionGetting away from work or a routine at home is a tried and true remedy for stress relief and mental rejuvenation.

However, taking the correct amount of time off can make a difference for returning with renewed vigor, or coming back from a vacation loaded with new stress.

Moreover, the small or even unplanned activity may provide more stress relief than a long vacation.

“Although vacations themselves rank fairly low on the list of stressors, they combine elements like travel, sleep disruption and food changes that can themselves be stressful,” explained Christopher Robinson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Alabama – Birmingham.

However, the anticipation of a vacation can put people in a better mood or provide a mental perk, said Robinson.

Robinson offers the following tips to maximize the short-term increase of happiness vacations provide:

  • Take shorter trips throughout the year instead of only one long vacation
  • Sprinkle spontaneous weekend getaways into the schedule
  • Request a morning off after an evening out to extend the break.

Whether it is hiking or camping, a relaxed family game night, golf, going to the beach or getting a baby sitter and having an evening out with one’s partner or friends, Robinson encouraged fitting in regular mental health breaks.

“I find that regularly taking time to sit around a fire pit with friends helps me de-stress far better than involved vacations with tons of planning,” Robinson said.

“While what’s relaxing varies from person to person, any time off that offers an escape from the everyday can help.”

Source: University of Alabama – Birmingham

More Frequent, Not Long Vacations Best for Stress Reduction

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). More Frequent, Not Long Vacations Best for Stress Reduction. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.