4 Ways to Avoid Vacation Guilt

4 Ways to Avoid Vacation Guilt

4 Ways to Avoid Vacation GuiltIf you’ve ever been at your child’s graduation or on your way to the beach or a hike and couldn’t resist the urge to check your work email, you’re not alone. After all, the constant alerts don’t stop just because you’re not there. Even though we know that resting is important for our mental and physical health, it’s also easy to get vacation guilt and worry that everything isn’t perfect before we leave.

It’s that nagging vacation guilt about not being there, the fear of passing on your responsibilities, or the worry that you’ll fall behind and, dare we say it, miss out on a raise. Thus, some people think their bosses might not want them to go on vacation, even if it’s part of their benefits package. A Pew study found that almost half of Americans take less vacation time than they are given.

Still, many experts have said over the years that taking time off is a good way to avoid burnout, as well as improve company mood and retain employees. 

Seeing your holiday as a “productive rest” can give you the confidence to clear your schedule and also recharge. 

Here are 4 ways to avoid vacation guilt: 

1. Change the way you think about vacation.

The first step in work-proofing your vacation is to deal with the guilt of not being available. 

Think of it not as a perk but as your rights.

Try to be just as present on your days off as at work. Work will be there when you get back, and people often forget that spending time with loved ones is important for their health and happiness. 

It’s about putting as much effort into your work as you do into your rest, knowing that both will help ease your vacation guilt somehow. 


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2. Make plans for your trip before you leave. 

If you plan to travel, figuring out who will take care of your tasks while you’re gone before you take your leave is also helpful. 

If you let your clients or coworkers know what to expect on your days off, you can answer any important questions before they come up. 

Make sure everyone has access to important papers so a coworker doesn’t bother you looking for the password to a locked spreadsheet. 

Disconnecting starts before you go on vacation. It would be best to assemble a team, plan, and set goals.

You should say in your Out of Office note that you won’t be able to check your email and give someone a date when you’ll be back or someone they can talk to until then. 

3. Now, you should really disconnect.

You won’t feel better after a trip if you don’t disconnect. 

The most annoying thing to happen on vacation is getting a message with a subject line that is interesting enough to get you to check your email. Moss says that she puts her phone in a safe when she goes on holiday. But you don’t have to go that far to enjoy the benefits of disconnecting. 

Set rules about how you will use your devices so you can confidently turn them off.

4. Look at the big picture.

It can feel like you need to do things right away, even on vacation. Moss says it’s important to look at the bigger picture and ask yourself if leaving your vacation to go to a team meeting is important for your growth or if the real loss is valuable time with others or yourself. 

Ask yourself, “Will I regret not doing this one thing or not sending an email at 7 o’clock at night when I die?”

That time off to unwind, be a part of our community, be with friends, laugh, and recharge will be a part of what we remember.

Looking for balance again in your life? Find your dream job on Jobstore.com, download our free mobile app today.

Anisa is a writer who focuses on career and lifestyle topics in an effort to motivate both job searchers and employers towards greater fulfillment in their professional lives.

Reach me at anisa@jobstore.com.

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