Are you one of the average American workers who leave almost half of their vacation time unused each year? (Source: May 2017 Glassdoor Survey) This is not a new thing either. In 2015, “Travel and Leisure” magazine found half of the workers in the United States were leaving some vacation days on the table. There are many reasons why this may be true, however, as women we need to pay attention to the notion of guilt.
You do not have to feel guilty if you need to take a vacation! Women, in general, are really good at taking care of everyone else. But, we are not so good at taking care of ourselves. One way you can take care of yourself is by refilling your well and vacations are a great way to do this.
But, I can’t take a vacation because:
Vacations are too expensive
There are many different types of vacations. And, just as many affordable ways to take one. If you absolutely do not have a destination vacation in your budget, you can always try a staycation and take day trips locally.
I don’t have time for a vacation
You need to find the time. The danger of never taking one is two-fold. It is dangerous for you in terms of not taking care of yourself and wearing out personally and at home. It is also a problem if you burn out at work and are not able to perform your job (and that is also why it is good for your employer for you to take one) . No one is so indispensable they can’t be gone for a week. Your employer should know you will come back recharged and ready to tackle it all anew. (See my related article on why vacation and time off are good for your productivity at work.)
Vacations are too much work for me (Pre and Post-Trip)
Yes, there is work planning a vacation but there are also lots of resources to do the heavy lifting and make it easier for you. We all know as well the bulk of the packing before and the unpacking/laundry after can be overwhelming. Plan to enlist whatever help you can find in the way of your family, spouse, friends, etc. Don’t forget, you will have the time off your “home” duties, so think of it as a nice trade off.
Hopefully, you are now thinking of ways to use the vacation days you have stored up. And, here is what you stand to gain by taking one.
What a vacation gives you:
You get a much needed break from the hamster wheel of routine at your home – meals you are responsible for 3 times a day plus the dishes that go with it. You also get a temporary break from the laundry and all of the other jobs in your home. And, there is that bit about being away from work (I don’t need to say anymore on why that is a good idea sometimes).
A chance to try new things
Vacations to new locations (or even local places you have never been before) force you out of your comfort zone. By default you have to try new places to eat, or maybe a whole new type of food, etc. (and best of all somebody else prepared it).
An opportunity to really spend time with your loved ones
If you only take one vacation a year, you only have one week on average to really dive deep into the changes you will see in your spouse and children. Life is constantly moving and you may not notice the changes otherwise. For example, what are your kids interested in now that they may not be same time next year? If you have a preteen, think about next year when she will be a teen and interested in different things, but for now she is still loving feeding the ducks. A lot of priceless memories and the gift of time spent together (even amidst the squabbles because we are all human) is well worth the investment.
Time to hit the reset button
Vacations are a good time to hit the reset button on your goals for the year and gauge your efforts. They also give you the energy to regroup and tackle the next step with zeal.
Whatever you do and wherever you decide to go, hopefully you see the benefits from investing your time in a vacation. You deserve it!
Now, it’s your turn. Let me know in the comments below where you would like to go on your next vacation.
Packing list links
Ideas for places to go
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While you are here, make sure you grab your copy of the "Self-Care Mini-Guide" to help you figure out how to add self-care to your daily life. Just click the link Loveselfcare Self-Care Mini-Guide to download your guide!