I saw a post on LinkedIn this week about vacations and burnout. I can’t reference the exact study but it said only 28% of people actually use all of their vacation days in a given year and when most decide to take a vacation, they feel MORE burned out when they come back than when they left.
Much of it is the feeling of being “half on,” meaning you’re still tethered to your job while you’re sipping that Mai Tai on the beach.
Now not only do you never fully recharge, but when you get back to the office, there’s almost certainly more work that has still piled up. It’s a double whammy.
When I saw this post, my thought was not to address how we utilize our vacation time.
It was more to consider our over reliance on vacations as a macro form of rejuvenation when we should start with micro forms of rejuvenation daily and weekly.
"The key to sustained high performance is not in vacations - it’s in micro periods of disengagement. It’s like recharging your cell phone. How this plays out is different for each person - it can be cooking or cycling or curling or crocheting - but it should be something that, when you’re doing it, occupies your full mental space and allows you to disengage from the thing causing the pressure, stress and burnout in the first place. Taking this time isn’t selfish - it’s selfless because it allows you to continue showing up and serving others to the best of your ability."
The end is an important distinction (selfish vs. selfless).
I've come across many people that struggle to take time for themselves, feeling guilty about "needing to take this time for ME."
We're all in the service industry—the service of others—and if taking time for ME allows you to be better for WE, then it's one of the most selfless things you can do. Please remember that.