7 Signs it’s Time for a Vacation
Winter is playing games with my heart. We had about a week of really promising sunshine, and then a major snowstorm. It’s made me realize how very restless I’m feeling. I want to get outside! I want sun! I want to think about something besides work and how much weight I’m putting on during the cold season.
Americans have a reputation for being hard workers—sometimes too hard of workers. (We are given much less vacation time compared to many other developed countries, after all.) And it kind of makes you wonder, Am I depriving myself of a much-needed vacation? Here are seven major signs that you should take a vacation soon.
You’re growing tired of the daily grind.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any major trials or health conditions at the moment, experiencing the same thing day in and day out simply gets old. And if you go long enough without taking a vacation, you’re going to start losing motivation, losing your sense of humor, or making more mistakes at work. A vacation can help mix things up, bring excitement back into your life, and give you something to look forward to as you work hard on a daily basis. As a bonus, you’ll likely perform better at work after taking a much-needed break.
You’re experiencing burnout.
Burnout is very real, and just about anyone who is overworked or who works in less-than-ideal conditions can experience it. Here are a few common signs of burnout:
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Forgetfulness or impaired concentration
- Physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations or headaches
- Loss of appetite
- Increased illness
If any of these symptoms apply to you, time off from work is one of the best ways to relieve your symptoms.
You spend your time off thinking about work.
Even if you aren’t experiencing burnout, you might experience “not working guilt.” This is when you’re not working and you feel guilty that you’re not doing something for your job. Ideally, you should be able to put in a good day’s worth of work and then check out completely when the day is done. So if you’re experiencing “not working guilt,” make it a goal to plan some time off where you can unplug from work completely.
You need time for healing.
Maybe you need healing not from burnout or overworking but from something else entirely. Perhaps you’ve been enduring something difficult in your life, and you could use some time away from home for healing. This article about substance addiction, for example, talks about how going to a new place can offer you the respite you need, away from negative influences and everyday life commitments. So whether you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a chronic health issue, ask yourself if some-time in a relaxing place can offer you the healing you need.
You’re out of touch with friends and family.
Has work been keeping you away from family dinners, important family events, fun outings, or gatherings with friends? If so, then a vacation can help you catch up on much-needed quality time with family and friends. Instead of becoming the “workaholic” in your family or social circle, go ahead and take a few vacation days for a trip with friends or family.
It’s been a long winter
Depending on where you live, the winters or summers in your region may be long and almost intolerable. I live in Utah, for example, where you can see a lot of snow, not to mention tons of inversion due to the colder climate. If it’s been a long winter or summer where you live, consider heading out of town, even if just for the weekend. You’ll be surprised at how therapeutic it is!
You’re experiencing wanderlust.
Is your bucket list of places to travel growing faster than you can keep up with? Do you find yourself pining over beautiful travel photos on Pinterest? Have you always wanted to travel the world, only to have your life circumstances holding you back? If your answer to any of these questions was yes, then it’s definitely time to start making plans for your next vacation. Take care of whatever work and life responsibilities you need to, and communicate openly with your employer about the trip you are planning. The extra effort you put in to make your trip happen—and ultimately, to remain true to who you are—will be worth it.
Maurine Anderson originally hails from Washington, DC, but is now enjoying life out west in Salt Lake City. She is a professional writer and blogger who in her free time loves to create new cake recipes, travel, and practice her hand at photography. She tends to geek out over linguistics, cats, and all things Scandinavia. Check out more of her writing at MaurineDashney.com and find her on Instagram @maurinedashney.