Are you going to take some time off this summer to refresh yourself and recharge? Or are you going to be like the majority of workaholic Americans who won’t get away from work? Nearly three-quarters of Americans feel they’re too busy to use their paid vacation days and 15 percent don’t use any of their vacation days at all! That’s more than 150 million unused vacation days every year. Is this making us a healthier and happier nation of people? Absolutely not!
Did you know that much of Western Europe takes from four to six weeks off? In Italy, where I grew up, workers get 31 days of guaranteed paid vacation. And they take those days and enjoy them with their families. Every year I make a point of recharging by attending retreats that are both educational and promote personal development and emotional growth. My hope for you is that you can enjoy a similar experience.
But what if you can’t be away for an entire week because of unusual circumstances? Does that mean you should give up on the idea of having a vacation? Not at all.
Here are some suggestions so you can squeeze in some time away:
If you can’t block out a large chunk of time, why not split your time up into short, two or three day vacations throughout the year?
Strategically plan ahead for your vacation days. Of course, you won’t want to leave in the middle of a project, therefore make sure you wrap things up before you go so you’re not worrying about it.
Be willing to delegate. It’s worth it to train someone well in advance who can step into your shoes while you’re gone. And if you’re worried about your home, hire a reputable house sitter or have a friend stop by to check on things.
Put your vacation time on your calendar as non-negotiable.
Inform and periodically remind your clients, co-workers, and boss that you’ll be gone so it doesn’t catch them by surprise.
Leave your office and home organized. This relieves your mind of nagging, unfinished business, as well as, gives you a clean place to come back to. Nothing destroys the vacation bliss faster than coming home to a chaotic mess.
Unplug. Even if you have to force yourself, disconnect from technology, including the television. Use the time to reconnect with your loved ones and feed your mind on books, art or another creative outlet.
Don’t expect to hit the ground running on your first day back. It’s so much better to give yourself a day to ease back into your routine and catch up.
The truth is if you want to achieve business excellence, you must take time to recharge your battery. You’re health and your relationships will improve, too, because you’re finally getting relief from the constant stress. Plus you’ll discover some great opportunity to fuel and tap into your greater creativity.
Want to get into the vacation mood quicker? Why not schedule a session of somatic coaching to calm your mind and reconnect with your body? Contact me and I’ll help you get started on that summer vacation you deserve.