Summertime. Everything just seems slower once the temperatures rise. Coastal beach views, icy lemonade in a chilled glass, and an endless array of summer fun; it’s like the whole world pauses and remembers how to relax again. Except for you. You’ve got so much on your plate at work that you can’t even remember the last time you left the office on time let alone planned a vacation!
Maybe you feel a pang of guilt for using up some of that “me time.” Recruiting new candidates doesn’t stop just because it’s warm outside. Open positions still need to be filled. Yup, we’ve all been there.
Leaving the office for a short period of time can feel like you’re abandoning your post; coldly leaving your team to fend for themselves. But it’s all in our heads! Vacations are healthy, and according to a study conducted by Project: Time Off more Americans are prioritizing their PTO. The latest State of American Vacation indicates that more employers are encouraging vacation time which has translated into a small but noticeable increase in vacation days taken. Still, 52% of American employees ended 2017 with unused vacation days. There’s still a long way to go before the stigma of taking a vacation is lifted.
So how do you stop the cycle of vacationer’s remorse? With these three tips, of course!
Make your health a priority
Put your vacation days into perspective. Don’t think of your vacation as inherently selfish, think of it as something that’s part of your self-care routine. You’re in HR, part of your job is to make sure employees are taken care of; don’t neglect yourself! You kill two birds with one stone when you use your PTO. Not only do you mentally recharge when you’re out of office, but there are physical benefits too.
According to Inc, there have been lots of studies showing that people who skip vacation have an increased chance of developing heart disease and other heart-related issues. When you leverage your vacation days as something that helps maintain not only your happiness but your health as well, suddenly leaving the office doesn’t seem like such a terrible thing.
Participate in a digital detox
You can’t relax outside of the office if you’re always connected. While technology has been a champion of changing the workplace for the better if there’s one thing that we could all do without it’s the feeling of forced availability at all hours of the day and night. Approximately 62% of Americans feel like they aren’t completely disconnected from their jobs while on vacation. Twenty four hours a day, 7 days a week, we’re always on even during our supposed vacations.
Put down the smartphone and step away from the laptop! You’ll only feel more and more remorse for leaving the office if you’re responding to emails and pinging your team from the plane. Learn to feel more comfortable away from your mobile devices and trust your team to be able to manage themselves while you are away. Filling available roles and interviewing candidates is a year-round endeavor, of course, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay connected 24/7/365.
Hide all of your work-related notifications, or hide your phone if you can, just make sure you disconnect for a while.
Practice mindfulness year round
The best way to combat the nagging thoughts of vacationer’s remorse? Be mindful of yourself all year long. Don’t be a work martyr. Being aware of yourself, your limitations, your abilities and living in the moment can lift a huge weight off your shoulder’s come summertime. You may feel like sacrificing a vacation day is in your career’s best interest, but the opposite is actually true. Eventually, your productivity will suffer and your energy levels will fall forcing you to lose any enthusiasm you once felt for your work. This can negatively impact you, in the long run, come promotion time.
Make it known to your team or boss your preferred work schedule and stick to it. You’ll find that your career and health will flourish.