With vacations on hold, fewer people are taking time off work than ever. Many employees feel that they are either too busy to take time off or that they might miss something important by not being there. Some feel guilty for taking the time, believing that they will not be considered dedicated to their job.
The added pressures of the pandemic aren’t helping matters. More employees are reluctant to use their vacation time because of lingering uncertainty, feeling they must prioritize work above all else. The threat of businesses closing or downsizing has many employees wanting to prove that they are dedicated and necessary to the business’s success.
On top of this, mental health has been negatively affected. More than half of adults in the U.S. have worries and stress related to the pandemic. From adjusting to working from home, where employees are working longer hours because they have a hard time distinguishing work versus home life, to concerns of family members getting sick. Moreover, with all of the frightening news and, for some, suddenly becoming a homeschool teacher, everyone is stressed far more than they probably even realize.
Saving all of your vacation time for the holidays or a potential sickness may not be the best idea. Even if travel isn’t possible, occasionally taking a couple of days off to recharge mentally is beneficial. You can use your time to clean up the house, knock out some projects that have been on your list for a while, visit a lake or river for a day of fun in the sun with the family or just order takeout and relax on the couch. Regardless of what you do, taking some time for yourself is necessary to avoid burnout.
Not using the vacation days that you have earned is like working for free. So take off an occasional day or two and detach from work during that time. Regular time off can rejuvenate employees, making them happier and more productive. It also helps to reduce stress levels and improve overall health, possibly even increasing overall lifespan.
In fact, humans can’t endure long periods of stress without experiencing burnout unless they allow for adequate recovery time. What are you waiting for? Request some scheduled days off now and start recharging your mind and body.
Rachel Pelta, Why You Should Take Time Off During the Pandemic, FlexJobs, May 15, 2020
Shannon McMahon, TRAVELING MAY NOT BE SAFE, BUT LEAVING VACATION DAYS BEHIND ISN’T HEALTHY EITHER, Washington Post, August 12, 2020
Heather Smith, Encourage Taking Time Off — Yes, Even During A Pandemic, Forbes, July 14, 2020
Vicky McKeever, Why it’s still important to take days off work, if you can, while in lockdown, CNBC, April 22, 2020