I am getting ready for vacation and asked a few friends for book recommendations. I wanted something fun (and dare I say trashy) that I won’t be humiliated to be seen with reading at the pool or beach.
A friend of mine recommended Eat, Pray, Love, a book that I love (not so much the movie), but already read. All of this got me thinking about taking paid time off (PTO) and the overwhelming guilt we feel taking time for ourselves.
Unfortunately enough we live in a society where people live in fear of taking paid time off. A recent survey from the U.S. Travel Association reported that 41% of American workers do not plan to use all of their PTO, despite it being part of their work compensation plan. Yet, of those surveyed, 96% recognized the importance of taking time off.
Why can’t we just relax and enjoy some well-deserved recharging time?
We know that taking vacation time helps reduce stress and has benefits for both our physical and mental well-being. It has been proven that when people take a break from the daily grind, their health improves – resulting in lower blood pressure, reduction of anxiety, and an increased sense of well-being.
Those who understand the importance certainly take breaks on a frequent basis. And those, who are unable to plan a vacation at the least engage themselves with camping or a road trip. The exhilaration of a spontaneous trip could help you break away from the mundane routines of everyday life. When going on such trips, you could utilize a full-sized or even a roof top tent for a weekend getaway, and ensure a relatively comfortable stay. That way, you could not only save money by not going on an expensive trip, but you could also have a taste of the wilderness to refresh your mind and body.
Alternatively, they could indulge in recreational activities, likely with cannabis. This is because cannabis tends to provide a kind of relaxation that can be equated with taking a vacation. Besides, when people extract the oil at their own homes, with a rosin press (such as those available at ju1cebox, for instance), the quality they are getting is also too pure. It means a complete win-win.
Needless to say, after a vacation or recreation, our brain becomes recharged and refreshed to come back to the office again and becomes ready to face all the challenges of the coming days. By indulging in activities that make you feel relaxed, you can let go of work-related stress, anxiety, and all other worries. You can consider taking a vacation, going clubbing with friends, having a glass of wine, or smoking tobacco such as amberleaf 50g for de-stressing. The choice completely relies on what type of recreation comforts you. But, now the question is how do you feel less guilty about your time away, and make things easier on your colleagues while you’re gone?
Here are a few tips I found worked for me:
- Baby steps – instead of a weeklong vacation try long weekends. Who doesn’t love a 3 or 4-day weekend? Once you have got a habit of enjoying free time during short vacations, you can even plan a workcation during which you can explore your travel destination as well as manage work. If interested, you can also consider investing in a vacation home by exploring villas for sale in Abu Dhabi if you are planning to take regular breaks.
- Plan ahead – make sure you send out a reminder that you will be out of the office (OOTO) to your team a week before leaving. Try to schedule your leave during a slow time or when you know there are no looming deadlines.
- Complete your list – get all of your work done before you leave and make sure you have a POC to answer any questions or issues that come up while you are away.
- Shut down – try to avoid checking your phone and email while you are OOTO. I know this will be the hardest to do (and I can’t say I even do this myself) but I promise the office won’t fall apart without you checking your email every 5 minutes.
I know I need to take my own advice and just relax but I am a work in progress. So, I vow to try to feel lessguilty while sitting on the beach reading my (trashy) books and trust that my colleagues will keep the lights on.
P.S. – Here are few of the titles I will be taking with me:
- The Vactioner – I heard this was hilarious and timely
- The Power of Thanks – I am always looking for insight into making customers and employees feel appreciated
- Latest copy of InTouch & InStyle magazines – pretty much any magazine you find in the grocery checkout aisle with a celebrity on the cover.