Breaks are an essential way to keep ourselves focused on what matters most. Most Americans are granted somewhere between 10 and 20 vacation days per year, yet many of us fail to utilize all of our entitled time off. In 2017, more than half of the American workforce under used vacation time and lost out on precious days away from the grind of office life. Many workers cite an underlying feeling that taking time off will show an explicit lack of commitment to the job and place their continued employment status in peril. All this adds up to an American workforce that must make the most out of every day off. Whether you feel this sense of insecurity in your own office or feel secure taking the odd three day weekend and squeezing out each of those well-earned vacation days, planning to maximize your time off is a must.

Heading out to the beach can be a fantastic use of your time away. Beach vacations often offer up a sublime combination of fun activities along with the unbeatable relaxing feeling of being able to do nothing at all. As well, nearly 40 percent of the American population lives within a stone’s throw of beach territory, making a weekend away at the nearest shore a highly reasonable proposition.

A beach vacation opens up a wealt`1h of potential; here a vacationer can engage in such a variety of activities that they will never become bored with ocean life. From surfing lessons to paddle board rentals, the sea can offer nearly any diversion one can imagine. Escaping to the beach has a unique effect on vacationers that exists nowhere else; adults and children alike can experience the absolute bliss that comes from swimming aimlessly in the ocean, building the perfect defensive moat around the morning’s sandcastle, or burying an unsuspecting friend under a mountain of sand while they sleep.

For Scuba certified divers, many sleepy seaside towns offer a hidden landscape teeming with life just under the surface. While some of the most jealously guarded secrets of the sea remain deep under layers of salt water, some of these treasures are available to the casual snorkeler as well. This may be a blessing for PADI certified divers as well, however, considering the essential wait time after a dive to flush nitrogen from the oxygenated bloodstream before flying – often a whole 24 hours. Checking the undersea sites can be a relaxing way to spend a long weekend away, but sometimes even a diver wants to stay above the waves rather than exploring the reefs and seabed and expending vital energy.

Paddle boarding or kayaking is another great way to explore the ocean, but from above. These activities can be worked into a weekend away as a means to keep up with a fitness routine, or simply as a relaxing release done at a leisurely pace through the afternoon. Getting out into the water is a must, even for those of us who love pulling up an umbrella and indulging in a new novel under the heat of a beach side sun.

Getting away for a beach vacation adds necessary fuel to your work time fire that is all too easily depleted week after week commuting to the office only to drain your batteries by the end of another long day of reports, meetings, and endless paperwork. Taking much-needed time off is a stress reducing measure in one’s life, but time away also makes for an improved workforce that is happier and both more motivated and productive during time spent in the office. Take time to refocus by getting away from the rat race for a long weekend. Your coworkers and you personally will benefit immensely from not working.