America has been termed the “no vacation nation” with over 50% of Americans not taking time off from their jobs to take a vacation each year. And to be honest, of the other 50% who are taking a vacation, a good chunk of them are working while they are on vacation. With the advent of new technology, we are able to work at baseball games, at home after the kids have gone to bed and on the weekend while running errands. Basically, if we are not asleep, we are able to work.
While this may seem to a business like it is raising productivity, in truth, it is leading to higher levels of stress and burnout, which can reduce productivity. It is important for people to schedule time away from work and daily stressors to recharge their internal batteries and to destress.
Our European counterparts are able to take vacations of 3-4 weeks, and while that would be great, we definitely do not have that luxury here in the United States. That doesn’t mean that you cannot find other ways to refresh and recharge. Here are a few suggestions that you should be able to fit into your daily life:
- Make one weekend a month a no-work weekend. If you typically work from home over the weekends, designate one weekend a month to be your no work weekend. Plan activities in advance, so you have something to take up your time, and you won’t be tempted to work. Don’t have calls ring to your phone or have work emails pop-up on your phone; even better, leave your phone at home.
- Leave your phone in the car when you attend an activity for one of your children. Be fully in the moment and watch them hit that ball or perfect that karate kick.
- Find something you are interested in doing that takes you away from work. This can be something you used to do when you were younger and want to pick it up again or something new that you want to try.
- Take a mini-vacation. Add a day or two to a long weekend to make it a bit of a longer getaway. This way, you aren’t taking too many days off from work, so there won’t be that fear that you are missing a lot of work, and there won’t be that much to make up when you return. Make sure that you have someone else plan the trip for you. You don’t want to get away from the stress of work, add on the pressure of planning a trip, and then stress while you are on vacation; you are there to relax and recharge.
- Figure out a relaxing activity that you can do every week. This could be playing golf, reading a book, working on your car, planting in the garden. It will be different for everyone. Set aside an hour or two in your schedule for this activity. If it is not scheduled, it will get continuously pushed for “more important” things, so make sure to put time on the calendar.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these 5 suggestions will get your feet on the path towards destressing and recharging.
Mikaela Walker is a Travel Advisor and Owner of Walker Cruise and Travel – Dream Vacations, and the managing editor of Orlando Parents Family Fun Magazine. Mikaela has been planning vacations for 10 years and enjoys helping her clients get away from their daily lives. Mikaela has visited 5 continents and has visited many of the countries she sends her clients to and recommends places and vendors she has tried herself. Mikaela is a former Strategy Consultant, who used to travel for work up to 3 days a week. To destress and recharge, she practiced the above tips when not in the office or on the road.VISIT AUTHOR'S WEBSITE