Why Taking A Vacation Isn’t Always A Bad Thing – Guest Post
This guest post, about the benefits of taking a vacation comes from Matthew Davis of Future Hosting. To submit your own guest blog, first read the guidelines here.
If you’re like most business owners, you’re probably married to your job. Be careful with that. You could well be on the road to burnout.
Full disclosure: I’m awful at taking vacations. The ability to kick back, relax, and just forget about work is an acquired skill that I somehow never acquired. Even on one of my rare days off, I constantly have work on the brain.
Some people can deal with that – most can’t. To be frank, it’s extremely unhealthy. Human beings aren’t made to work 50+ hour weeks. No matter who you are, you need occasional downtime. Every now and then, you need to step back and take a breath. At the very least, enjoy a mental vacation from your daily routine. Because if you don’t, you’re going to end up burning out.
“We live in a world that is more fast-paced and stressful than ever before,” writes wellness expert Vanessa Wilkinson. “Work and home life demands, expectations, and information overload continue to increase…we get so used to living at [a] stressful place that we rarely even realize we’re stressed or need a break.”
Take a Vacation to Avoid Burnout
And if you keep pushing yourself forward without realizing you need to recharge, well…you end up in a situation like this one, from Reddit.
“I just sat at my desk sobbing. Take that in for a second,” writes the original poster in the post above. “I work at a company I love, doing something I really enjoy, for a boss who is awesome. By all rights, I should be the happiest employee on planet earth. But I’m not.
I work all the time, check my email like a Pavlov’s response to get a break from work, commute 2 hours each way on the world’s least reliable subway system and then sit in traffic. My house is a disaster and I cannot bring myself to deal with it. I haven’t gone to the gym in months, can’t seem to scare up the willpower to eat better, and gained about 20 pounds.”
Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that if you fail to keep a handle on your mental health – if you fail to recognize the signs that you might need a vacation – then you’re going to end up suffering a full-fledged breakdown. You’re going to wind up overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed to the breaking point. The administrator above loves his job, but he can’t work it anymore – and it’s obvious that’s crushing him.
Learn to set limits on how often you work. When you’re off the clock, don’t respond to any work emails unless it’s urgent and there’s no one else to deal with it. And when you’re on vacation, leave your work phone at home.
Trust me – your mental health, productivity, and overall happiness are all on the line here. If it helps, think of your mental state as a server, of sorts. When you overwork yourself, that means you’re going for days, weeks, or even months without a restart, patch, or clean.
Do you really think the server will keep running at peak efficiency for all that time?
No? Then why do you think you will, too? Take care of yourself, because even superman needs a break from time to time.