In 2016, over half of Americans failed to use all of their paid vacation time! That’s insane to think about! Fifty-four percent is a lot of people, and if you were one of them, you might want to rethink how you use this year’s paid time off.
You may think that if you step away from your job for a few days to rejuvenate yourself that you’ll be more stressed when you get back. If you couldn’t do any of your work because you were off in Tahiti taking in the sunny skies then that means that you’ll have that work plus the work that you normally have to do when you get back. Or perhaps you think that you can’t leave because no one else will be able to do your job for you while you’re gone. And while both of these concerns may be true, taking that break can end up benefiting you in the long run. Research shows that employees who take time off are less stressed than their counterparts who don’t use their days. They’re even more likely to get a raise or get promoted than employees who fail to take time off. And this probably has something to do with the improved well-being and morale that people experience by not having to be bogged down by work all the time. Even work leaders are able to see improvements in their employees that utilize their paid time off. So even if your boss seems a bit apprehensive to approve your vacation time, just realize that they’ll be happy that they did when you come back. I mean just take a moment to think about it. Imagine yourself on your dream vacation. You’re out there laughing and having a good time. And the best part is that you don’t have to deal with any of your work, or the troubles that come along with it, during the entirety of your trip. This will put you in an insanely good mood, and that good mood is most likely going to be with you when you come back to work, and if you’re in a good mood then all areas of your life improve, including your work ethic.
And as I write this post, I wonder at what point in our lives did we decide that working was more important than taking some time for ourselves? If our younger selves found out about what we’ve been doing they’d kick our butts! When we were kids, school was like our job, and we couldn’t wait until summer came around because that meant that we would get a break from it. We could do whatever our little hearts desired. We didn’t have a care in the world for those months. And frankly, it didn’t matter where we were, as long as we weren’t at school. Most of the time hanging out at our home was vacation enough. There were tons of activities that we could partake in there and in our neighborhood that was fun. And when our vacation was finally over, we were able to come back to our work refreshed and ready to start again. The same thing applies now. You need that vacation so that you can have some fun and let loose for a little while. Positive thinker, you have to recharge. It’s essential if you want to be able to have a balanced life.
Alternatively, you might be sitting there thinking that this doesn’t apply to you. It may be that you work somewhere where you don’t get paid time off. If that’s the case then wanting to not take a break is a little bit more understandable. Not only would you be not getting paid, but then you would also feel inclined to spend money that you don’t have to go somewhere. But even in these situations, you have to give yourself some time to unwind, even if it’s just for a little bit every day.
Positive thinker, it’s okay to take a break every once a while. Giving yourself time to slow down and relax will help you to be more focused when you come back to reality. It’s also really important for your mental health! So be in the good half of Americans this year. Don’t waste your paid vacation days. Use them! Everyone, including you, will be better off because of it!