An important topic during the holiday is taking time for yourself. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that this is something that I struggle with personally, but still understand the importance of. After all, I usually travel with my work computer even if we are just going away for a weekend in case something comes up.
Getting time off and a moment to reset is extremely important for our mental health. We are constantly plugged in due to email being connected to our phones or coworkers having our cell phone numbers. What we need to remember is that it is okay to let that inbox have a few emails sitting in it on your day off. It is okay to miss that call when you are using a vacation day. This is where I struggle. I struggle to trust that others will be able to handle my usual responsibilities while I am away. One of my worries when taking a day off is that my responsibilities will be a burden on my team members. The teams we are on are integral to our success everyday and it should be no different when covering for you while you take that hard-earned day off. Trust that those you work with will have your back and just as you have their back when they are out of the office.
We also need to be better at encouraging coworkers and employees to disengage from the day-to-day of work. Approving a vacation day is one thing, but it is entirely different to hear a manager say, “Approved—and really take this day off. Don’t log on. You earned this time to rest and relax. Your team can cover for you on this day off.” Validation from a manager can go a long way, but it is also nice to hear from your peers. Encouraging your coworkers to disengage is a wonderful way to begin to shift the culture and mindset surrounding time off.
I have been working to be better about this and separate work time and personal time. This is something we should all strive to do because it goes without saying that we need that time to ourselves and to our families or loved ones. If you are taking some time off over this holiday season, try to really take that time for yourself. You deserve it and you NEED it.