Your Vacation Time Should Be Your Vacation Time
At a company I once worked for, I was entitled to two weeks of vacation. (To get three weeks of vacation, I would have had to work there for ten years, and there was zero chance of that happening.) But at least when I was on vacation, it was truly my time. Nothing short of an emergency would have resulted in my being contacted.
These days, many employees are not so lucky. Either they can’t take all the vacation time they’re entitled to, or they can take it but have to be so constantly in contact with work that they might as well be back in the office.
Of course, some people who don’t take their allotted vacation time have good reasons. I know one woman whose extended family lived half a globe away, so she saved up her vacation time for a long trip.
By contrast, some people don’t take their vacation time because they’re workaholics. They don’t necessarily love their jobs, but they feel stressed and guilty when they’re not working. And some people worry that if they're away too long, they’ll face a mountain of work when they return and it will be impossible to catch up.
Nevertheless, it’s important to take vacation time. The time away, even if it’s only a “staycation,” reduces stress, improves focus, allows for better sleep, increases productivity, and just plain allows for a break from the intensity of the day-to-day routine.
Taking time away from the daily grind can improve both mental and physical health. And if the only way you can get away and truly be away is to be offline, consider a location where you can’t be reached. On a hike I was on, I went to send a text with a photo of me at the summit and, oh darn, no cell coverage. At first I was annoyed. Then I thought, perfect!
If you haven’t used this year’s vacation time yet, it’s not too late. Whether you travel far and wide or stay close to home, take one long vacation or several long weekends, or vacation alone or with friends or family, that time off is your chance to take a much-needed break and to re-energize. Have a great vacation!