Years ago, I had a friend who just came back from vacation. When I asked her how the trip went, she said, “it was great, but now I need a vacation from being on vacation.” We both chuckled, but the older I get, I’ve begun to recognize the wisdom of her words. Vacation can feel like a job. So many of us burn the candle on both ends that when we get a moment to shift gears and do things we want to do, we don’t recognize we’re still working by changing the scenario. Our brains are digesting the new surroundings, and we are mentally processing the landscape around us and the activities that we want and need to do.
It seems that every time I take a vacation day, I’m amazed at how tired I feel after I’ve accomplished my goals. My employer doesn’t provide personal days, so I have to use the allotted vacation days to go to the physician or take care of any other errands that would occur during business hours. Plus, there is the stress of finding coverage for the office. When the day comes that I’ve requested off, I have seen myself hurrying to get several things taken care of so that I can go about my routine. This was the case last week when I took a couple of days to recharge my batteries.
I started asking questions with myself and others to see if this was something that was in my head or if it was a reality. To my astonishment, many of my friends and colleagues said the same thing. Their days off were seldom entirely off. They had to do all kinds of events and activities and were exhausted from the grind. I asked a friend of mine in the medical field if she had some advice for folks to help them not feel so tired. Here are a few recommendations that she suggested.
- Set boundaries! If you are taking the day off, leave the office at the office. Put someone else in charge and let your batteries unwind. If you are self-employed, make time for yourself. Getting sleep, eating right, and exercising are boundaries we all need to remember to help us stay focused and energized.
- Commit to exercising! If you are like me, you aren’t fond of exercise, but it’s necessary to help you feel your best. Look at it like this; exercise is time for “You.” You can take out aggression with exercise and not hurt someone else in the process. If your boss has been a douche, that should give you even more incentive to work out your frustrations. If your significant other has pushed every button you have, work it out through exercise. Exercise can be fun. Change your mindset about getting the exercise in, and you will find your energy will improve along with how you think.
- Take your days off! If your employer offers vacation days, use them! It’s amazing how a change of scenery and your routine can help you focus better and feel invigorated. You don’t have to be a magician to wave a wand and make everything better. Planning a day trip or a vacation can do wonders for your psyche.
- Ask for help! Do not be someone who doesn’t ask for help. Sometimes the same people who do this are the ones that are so stubborn they wouldn’t see a train coming towards them because they are so focused on sitting on the track. You know your limitations. There is no shame in asking for help.
- Leave time for rest! When you book your vacations, remember to have some downtime for rest. It’s easy to think that you’ll be fine adhering to a minute-by-minute schedule, but something tells me that you will regret it if you don’t make time for some R& R.
Then when you come back from vacation, don’t put your mind into a dreaded going back to work phase. If that’s the way you feel before going back to the office, you might need to find a different job. Sometimes when we dread going back, it’s an indicator that we are not fond of where we work.
Take care of yourself. Too many people are pushing so hard that their bodies need a break. Unfortunately, our bosses push us to the max quite often. You are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror. Taking steps to keep you energized can be the first step to feeling like you don’t need to take a vacation after your vacation. And if you do feel that way, take a look at the stresses in your life and see if there are changes you can make. Live life to the fullest with no regrets. Have a great day, everyone.