Make some time for R&R

July 11th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

holidays can help you with direction

Skipping your summer vacation?

I recently read an article about how someone was guilted by her boss into not taking her vacation time. In the end the stress from work took it’s toll and, no, people didn’t get burned-out. The company went under.

Stressed employees cannot produce as well as rested and relaxed employees. Everyone knows this fact, so why are so many bosses still expecting their workers to keep their phones on and return to work early from vacation? Companies suffer when people do not get holidays, as the company that closed down clearly shows.

The temptation is very high to keep on working, even if you have planned holidays

Many of us, whether pressured from the boss or not, are tempted to skip our summer holidays, or, at least check our work emails frequently while at the beach or in the hotel. Some bosses expect this and, after all, nobody wants 1,000 emails to go back to work to.

But psychologist have found it vital for our health and well-being for us to completely shut down for a while, even if it’s just a 48-hour break from emails, and a change of pace and scenery. July is already upon us and August is just around the corner. Have you planned your vacation? Taken it already? Decided to skip it this summer? A quote below shows the importance, or lack thereof, of vacations in different countries:

“The online travel agency Expedia conducted a survey about vacation time in 2010, and according to their data the average American earned 18 vacation days—but only used 14 of them. Every European country included in the survey reported both more vacation days earned and used. France topped the list, with the average worker earning 37 vacation days and using all but two of them. And according to Expedia’s data, only 38 percent of Americans said they used all of their vacation time, compared to 63 percent of French respondents.” http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/08/17/the-benefits-of-taking-time-off

 

Your and your employees’ physical and mental health depends on R&R; be like the French

Studies have shown that we need to take time away from the daily schedule of work for our continued health, whatever that place and activity and might be. It is the “other”, the time doing something completely different that causes restoration and growth. For example, new places make new mental neuron synapses grow and this is a very good thing for creativity and memory. This also allows our brain to rest the overused “pathways” of much used tracks of thinking in our brains.

Not only that, but stress levels are reduced when you go away and shut down. Therefore, productivity increases with a break in work. Employers should be sending their team members away more often just for better productivity—and for better creativity. Employees return to work relaxed and healthier after a vacation, they are then ready for to overcome more challenges.

You need to relax or you might find it difficult to do so later on

It has been shown that, depending on your actual stress level at any point in time, it will take more or less time to unwind and really relax. If you go on working, especially with high levels of stress at work, for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to wind down. Eventually, you will be unable to “remember how to relax”, and then may be in danger of burnout. Therefore, even long weekends with no emails are recommended to keep you “in practice”. Also, for bosses, burnout and stressed employees actually cost the company a lot of money in lost working days (read “sick leave”) and in lowered productivity. Thus, holiday time is one of the keys to a productive and positive work environment.

Remember, your family matters, and spending extended time with family builds relationship

Finally, it is important to remember that the reason you are working should be less important than your relationship with your loved ones. Take the time off to build your relationships with them, doing things you all feel are enjoyable and relaxing. For my family the place and activity could be going to be rock hunting in the Ticino or hanging out in Minnesota; for another family or couple it would be another place and pastime. But it is the time spent together in the end that matters, because this is what builds and maintains relationships.

Just do it. Take that vacation, even if it’s a short one!

So, take that time off; and limit the amount of time on work-related activities such as emails; do things with those people you love; and mostly, have some fun this summer! Remember to shut down for at least 48 hours, but why not more? There is only one Summer of 2017, after all, so enjoy it!

Explore to a new place.

Patricia Jehle www.jehle-coaching.com patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

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