There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to take time off from work, yet so many people leave their vacation days unused, not realizing the negative impact it can have on their life. Whether it’s for a family vacation, a solo trip, or just staying at home for a few days to decompress and get a well-deserved rest, taking a break can immensely benefit your mental and physical health.
We are taught that taking a break either means not fulfilling our responsibilities or shying away from what we’re supposed to be doing. However, not allowing your body and mind to rest can result in stress, anxiety, low energy, and a long list of other issues that in the long run, will harm your productivity and general well-being.
Benefits of Taking a Break from Working
- Increased Productivity: Taking some time off to rest can help you reconnect with other areas of your life you might have left on the back burner. Not everything in life is about work, and part of having a healthy lifestyle is having a variety of interests. By re-establishing a connection with hobbies, friends, etc., you can finish your break with a renewed sense of energy and become better at doing your job.
- Prevents Burnout: Burnout is, unfortunately, something many workers are far too familiar with. It can be difficult for some people to set limitations on when to stop working, especially with the increase in remote working since the pandemic. This has resulted in prolonged periods of stress and eventual burnout. Taking a break from working allows you to focus on your mental health and happiness, so you can come back refreshed.
- Develop Healthy Work/Life Balance: Spending some days off work to connect with family, friends, or your partner is key to increasing happiness. Having a good balance between your work and your personal life can also help reduce work-related stress and burnout.
- Overall Happiness: Getting into the habit of using your allowed time off to take a break, rest, and re-energize can improve your general mood. Spending time with loved ones, doing things you might not get to do every day, and not having to worry about deadlines and meetings for a few days will most likely have a positive impact on your well-being.
How to Tell When to Take Time Off from Work
Many times it’s hard to ask for time off because we feel there’s always some urgent matter that can’t be done without us. For fear of dropping the ball on our responsibilities, we end up postponing indefinitely. However, it’s important to pay attention to the signs our body sends us, letting us know when it’s time for a break. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed are the most common symptoms, but they can manifest in different ways for each person, and you might not realize that’s what you’re going through.
The following list includes signs that indicate it’s time for a break from working:
- Lack of energy
- Recurring bad moods
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Changes in your eating habits
- Feeling uninspired to go to work
- Lower performance than usual at work
- Sleep issues
- Feeling unmotivated
- Recurring headaches or stomach issues
- Withdrawal from loved ones or coworkers
Perks of Time Off
There are many ways to enjoy some days off from work: taking a trip somewhere, organizing plans you aren’t usually able to do during the day, or just spending some downtime at home. Taking a break from working can sound scary, but it’s important to realize the positive impact it can have on you and the people around you. Whatever extra effort taking time off might entail, the benefits to your physical and mental health will make up for it.