Disconnect for stress-free vacations

RyanJ Blogger

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If your version of vacation means sitting by a nice pool, only checking emails periodically, and maybe taking a call or two, we’ve got news for you: That’s not a vacation. That’s working remotely. (And if you never once fully submerge in the pool — that means getting your hair wet — well, shame on you.)

 

Always on, always connected

It’s no secret Americans have a hard time disconnecting from the office while on vacation. Technology, for better or worse, keeps us perpetually tethered. The constant need to check in may be self-imposed or it may be part of a company’s culture. Whatever the case, plenty of people are guilty of it.

 

In a survey conducted by Glassdoor and Harris Poll, 66% of Americans reported working on vacation. The survey also found:

  • Fourteen percent of respondents admitted that working while on vacation bothered their family members.
  • Twenty-nine percent said a co-worker contacted them while on vacation.
  • Twenty-five percent said their boss contacted them.

 

For some people, taking time off causes a certain level of anxiety. Perhaps it’s the feeling that you’ll return to find mountains of work waiting, instantly squelching any sense of serenity found while on vacation.

 

Shift your perspective

Rather than viewing vacation as an interruption in productivity, it might help to appreciate the benefits of truly unplugging.

 

“While taking a vacation may make employees temporarily feel behind, they should realize that stepping away from work and fully disconnecting carries a ripple effect of benefits,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer. “It allows employees to return to work feeling more productive, creative, recharged, and reenergized.”

 

Stress relief

Disconnecting from work allows you to connect more with family and potentially relieve stress caused by your typical day-to-day demands. Centerstone, a not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral health care, notes, “Vacation helps shrink stress and anxiety while also boosting the mental and physical health of the entire family.”

 

Of course, taking the family on an expensive vacation and racking up debt can cause stress of another kind. Here are a few tips for planning a budget-friendly vacation to possibly save a few bucks.

 

Do you have trouble making time for a vacation? Or, if you do get away, do you find it hard to “turn off” and truly enjoy your time with the family? Conversely, if you’re a pro at making the most of your R&R, we’d love to hear your tips.

 

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2 Comments
CraigandJennyD

Such a great article in so many ways! Not only do we need to completely disconnect from work at times to recharge and increase productivity, but it will also improve our family life. Our families (spouses, partners, and children) begin to feel neglected in certain ways we are only physically present during family time and not mentally present. I learned a technique called compartmentalizing which helps me get the most out of time spent in my business and time spent with my family. You can learn how here: Are You Stealing Your Own Happiness?

 

To find true balance, you must be 100% focused on your work during designated work times and 100% focused on your personal life in times designated to them. When you try to focus on both at the same time, you will find that your results are less than you desire in both areas and you will feel unfulfilled with your personal and professional life.  

PatBee

I know this struggle. I just wish I didn't feel so guilty taking time away from the office. I just feel like projects might stall out or something bad might happen to a client and I need to make sure everything is moving smoothly. I know this is all in my head but it leads to checking emails and texting co-workers while I am supposed to be out enjoying time off. I have some "me" time coming up this fall and I'm going to disconnect!