How to Enjoy a Vacation (and Mentally Check Out from Work)

Ep: 22

“It’s not a luxury to rest, relax, and unplug. It’s a necessity.” –Blake Schofield (10:41-10:48)

The way we live is having a negative effect on our health and happiness. There’s a tendency to work long hours at the expense of rest and recovery. Even worse, when we do have the chance to take time off, we don’t. Or, we worry about work when we’re on vacation, keeping us from enjoying our lives and being present with the ones we love.

The fact is that we perform better when we take time off. We need to take responsibility for our time and our wellbeing so we can show up better at work, home, and in everything we do.

“In a world that screams that we need to be doing and be ‘on’ all the time… the real truth for success, happiness, and health says the exact opposite.” – Blake Schofield (10:49-11:03)

Here are some eye-opening statistics related to work and our wellbeing.

  • Only 52% of employees actually use all their vacation time.
  • Working more than 50 hours a week can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Not taking time off can also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • People who work longer hours tend to be more anxious, depressed, and suffer from sleep issues.
  • Women who take less than one vacation every two years are more likely to suffer from depression and stress.

Taking Time Off for Yourself and Others

When we take time off, we teach others that they can do it for themselves, too. That’s what leadership is. But before you set aside time for a vacation, create a plan that will help you get the most benefit out of your time off. Preparation is the key to a vacation that gives you the rest you need without worrying about what’s going on at the office while you’re away.

Assign someone on your team to cover the tasks that need to be completed while you’re gone. Start this process early so they can ask questions instead of interrupting your time off. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be at taking time off for yourself. Schedule time at the end of your vacation to catch up on any work-related tasks. Review your calendar to see what’s in store as you make your way back to work. Communicate with team members to review how things went and address issues that may have come up while you were away.

Checking Out So You Come Back Better Than Before

When you truly unplug, you come back to work with more creativity, energy, and drive. You show up better, and you set a positive example for the people you work with. Leaders lead by example. The actions you take teach others how they can live. Working moms who don’t take time for themselves teach their children to do the same. That’s not a lesson that you want to instill in your family.

“When you take the time out to truly unplug, you’ll come back with more creativity, energy, and drive. You’re going to show up and be better.” – Blake Schofield (15:45-15:53) 

It’s your responsibility to live your life according to your values, and it’s up to you to take control and take care of you. Your job isn’t going to do that for you. Sit down and look at your calendar and start scheduling time out for yourself. Whether it’s a few hours, days, or weeks, prioritize rest and recovery. When you learn to check out from your job and enjoy life, you’ll reap many wonderful benefits that enhance the lives of you, your co-workers, and your family.


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