You got a pile of papers on your desk, deadlines, mounting obligations, a mess at home, and accumulated stress. It’s time for your days off and you’re considering skipping the vacation to get caught up. The idea of leaving work behind and finding a mess upon return causes you anxiety, as does the actual planning of a vacation.

Yet, a vacation is not meant to be stressful. Avoid getting in a situation like this and reap the full benefits of time off by following these easy tips:

Change Your Thinking

Instead of feeling guilty or fearing reprimands from your boss for taking time off, remind yourself that policy allows for it and that you’ve earned it.

As The Muse suggests, reframe your thinking in order to deflect feelings of guilt. Instead of fearing that you’ll miss out on a promotion, tell yourself that is unlikely, by scheduling the vacation in advance and communicating with your boss.

Instead of fears of falling behind, assure yourself that you’ll be able to better deal with it when you return.

Schedule Ahead

Planning ahead is a must!  According to Business Insider, this also builds anticipation, which increases excitement about the trip. Once you know your potential departure dates, begin planning and researching your options. Flights are cheaper about 57 days before departure, so check back frequently around that time and be ready to commit. Look for good deals on accommodation and hotels.

Choose a Good Destination

While you want to disconnect from office or work responsibilities as much as possible, if it is imperative for you to check in, make sure the destination lends itself to it. Make sure the hotel offers the accommodations you need to make this possible. However, it is important to keep that as minimal as possible.

Entrepreneur magazine suggests giving yourself an allotted “worry time” during your vacation, in order that it doesn’t spill over to your enjoyment time.

Plan Activities

Depending on what kind of vacation you’re looking for, you want to plan activities during your time off to get the best out of it. Consider spending money on experiences rather than spending money on products. This will give you a much greater sense of satisfaction and enjoyment while you’re away and make for unforgettable memories upon your return. Planning outdoor activities is a great way to stay active while disconnecting from routine stress.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Make sure your house is secured for your absence. Take precautions that will help safeguard your house from burglars of uninvited attention while you’re away. Install a home security system and motion sensor lights. Keep the blinds closed if you have expensive stuff in your house and keep the grass trimmed and bushes cut so that it creates an appearance of upkeep.

Communicate with neighbors, maybe give them a spare key, and have someone pick up your paper delivery. If possible leave lights on a timer inside the house and at all costs AVOID posting your every move on social media – makes it easier for people who want to ‘visit’ your house while you are away. 

Stepping away from routine and removing yourself from a stressful environment, can help give a new perspective on life. CNN noted that going away for a while can even aid in creative thinking, which makes people better problem solvers and more equipped to deal with stressful situations upon their return.

Time off is beneficial to your body and mind and will most likely increase efficiency and productivity. Give your brain a break and those papers on your desk will become easier to tackle with.

Not taking enough breaks can increase blood pressure, disrupt regular sleep cycles, and increase levels of stress. All of this can manifest as bigger health problems later on. Taking breaks regularly will help increase your long-term mental and physical health so that you can better perform your job and take care of responsibilities. Rest assured that when you return, you will be ready and refreshed to pick up where you left off.

  • Have you got any other tips that have helped you before and throughout your holidays? Do let us know!
Jennifer knows how difficult it can be to live with anxiety and depression. She has experienced both since she was in her teens. Today, she writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder. The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.

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