When was the last time you took a vacation? I’m talking about a REAL vacation. The kind where you forget about work, put down your phone, stop checking emails, take a deep breath, sit down, and just relax. If you can’t remember, you’re not alone.
A recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association found that 54% of Americans ended 2016 with unused time off, forfeiting 662 million vacation days. Another survey by Glassdoor found one in 10 Americans took no time off in 12 months while 42% only used up to half of their paid time off.
For those that do take vacation time, it can be hard to leave work behind. In Glassdoor’s survey, 66% of people reported working during part of their vacation, and we can all agree – that’s no fun.
Vacations exist for a reason. Some people feel relaxed just hearing the word “vacation”. There have been several studies over the years about the benefits of taking a vacation – and all had positive results. Vacations give people a time-out from the pressures of work and life, fueling better physical health, mental health, and it may actually be good for your career. Job burnout is very real, so you need to take time for yourself.
Now you may be thinking – “how can I possibly take a vacation?”. Between work responsibilities and family life, your schedule may look busier than an airport’s flight display the day before Christmas.
But take a good look at your calendar--a really good look--and ask yourself, do I really need to do that? Does that need to happen now? It may mean rescheduling a few things, asking people for help, or saying no, but in the end the sacrifice is worth it.
If it’s a matter of money that’s holding you back, there are many websites, books, and programs to help you organize your personal and professional finances. For example, The Trust’s webinar “The Psychology of Money” featuring William Martin, MA, MS, Psy.D., CHES, addresses financial management from the perspective of individual psychologists and mental health professionals, and the goal is to help people get their financial house in order. You can find more information about this webinar by clicking HERE.
We all need vacations, or at least a stay-cation. You’ve probably advised your clients and colleagues to do the same and it’s good guidance--now it’s time to heed that advice yourself; if not a full week, then one or two days. Just enough time to let go and enjoy the peace and quiet. You deserve it, and you’ll benefit from it!