Why you should always use your vacation days

There’s no denying we live in a landscape of workaholics.  Our merit-based mentality tells us that hard work pays off, so we mistakenly believe that there’s some sort of prize for sacrificing ourselves to the alter of capitalism.  Taking pride in your work is one thing, but driving yourself into the ground is quite another.

If you have to question why you need to use your vacation days, it may be time to take a long, hard look at your life and ask yourself why you hate fun.  Here are just a few reasons why you should always make the most of your paid vacation time.

Hours might not roll over

Many companies have policies about the amount of paid vacation time you can accrue before it starts to go bye-bye.  If you’ve hit your 200-hour max and you haven’t yet used vacation time, you might as well be flushing money down the drain.

All work and no play…

If you don’t take any time for yourself, your stress levels could lead to all kinds of issues, from anxiety and depression to physical ailments.  You know what they say – if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking your team can’t survive without you, but the truth is, no matter how essential you are, others will cover when you’re gone.  If something needs to get done, your coworkers will find a way in your absence.  So, give yourself permission to walk away and have a little fun.

You only get one life

YOLO has become pretty passé at this point, but the principle is sound.  Nobody knows if there’s a next life, an afterlife, or anything beyond the grave.  As morbid as it sounds, we can only be sure that we have this one life to live to the fullest.  Do you think that includes spending all your time behind a desk?

Taking breaks makes you more capable of performing in every aspect of your life.  You know you need breaks throughout the work day to reboot your brain and come back refreshed.  Without a lunch break or 10 minutes here and there to get up, stretch, and walk around, your attention and productivity will start to wane.

The same is true of going too long without a vacation.  You need to recharge your batteries once in a while in order to keep going.  You’re not the Energizer Bunny.  When you take regular vacations to connect with loved ones, explore your interests, and try new things, you get the mental reboot you need to return to work reenergized and ready to give it your all.

 

Post by Sarah Harris

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