Health Benefits of Taking a Sabbatical

It’s no secret that stress has a massive impact on our health, both physical and mental. Reduce stress and you also reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure and mental health issues… the list goes on.

The sad truth is that some of us don't appreciate our health until it's too late; until either we or someone close to us has a wake-up call that makes us sit up and value our physical and mental wellbeing. Whether you're currently in top shape, looking to improve or want to totally revamp your health routine, taking a sabbatical not only eliminates the health-battering stress-factor of work from our lives, but also allows us to focus generally on what our bodies and minds actually want and need.

We've become so used to rushing from pillar to post, grabbing food on the go (we're no strangers to a cheeky desk lunch between meetings), pushing ourselves until we have no energy to do anything but watch TV and go to bed; where do we find the time to simply sit and think and reflect? Mindfulness and meditation have become increasingly popular in the West for this very reason - we're searching for a way to be in tune with ourselves - but it's often temporary, and finding the time can be tough, so the cycle continues. Even our sacred holidays that we've worked so hard for are only a temporary change of pace before we're right back in the rat race again.

Always being in work mode can mean we forget to make time for the things we actually enjoy and that make us happy. Studies show that 15% of people are experiencing mental health problems in the workplace, and evidence suggests that 13% of all sickness absence days in the UK are attributable to mental health issues. Sabbaticals provide a remedy, a total break from the norm to help us reset ourselves, refocus our priorities and - essentially - put our wellbeing and happiness first. Being happier makes us healthier.

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