No matter how much you might love your work, not taking regular vacations is a proven recipe for burnout that can lead to major health issues and end up requiring an even longer break. Taking vacations can help you return to work refreshed and reenergized and thus better able to cope with challenges and day-to-day stressors. Also, they’re really fun!
Here are 12 signs you desperately need a vacation from work.
1. You begin to look like your passport photo
It might sound like an old joke but there’s a lot of truth to it. Any signs of chronic stress that might be signaling impending burnout are obvious red flags: irritability with colleagues, finding it difficult to concentrate on routine tasks, chronic tension headaches, back strain, stomach issues are all a sign you need to relax.
2. When you begin missing important events in your personal life
If you find yourself having missed too many family dinners, school concerts, or family outings, it could be a clue that you need to reconnect with your family during some much-needed vacation time.
3. You’re starting to make more mistakes at work
Whether it’s errors on financial reports or customer transactions, if you find you’re making more mistakes than usual, it could be a sign you need to reboot your mental hardware.
4. You’re no longer enthusiastic about your work
If you’re not as excited to get into work on a Monday morning as you once were, or you dread a work activity that you once enjoyed, you probably need a break.
5. You’re having trouble sleeping
Whether you’re having trouble falling asleep or waking up at 3:00 every morning, sleep issues can be a symptom of overwork and stress, or it can be a signal that you’re too focused on your work at the expense of everything else.
6. You’ve lost your sense of humor
If you find yourself not laughing as easily as you once did, or you find it harder to find humor in challenging work situations, it could be a major sign.
7. Molehills routinely become mountains
Things that you could easily shrug off in the past or manage effectively now seem like insurmountable obstacles.
8. Your entire life revolves around your work
If your entire identity is wrapped into your work, so much so that you’ve forgotten who the real you is, then it’s time for a vacation.
9. You can only think about work to the exclusion of most other things in your life
When you spend most of your off-hours thinking or talking about work, it could be a sign you need to refocus your priorities with a vacation.
10. You start making unhealthy choices to cope with stress
Reaching for a glass of wine as soon as you’re in the door from work, overeating, or forgoing your normal exercise routine, can all be signs you need to shake things up with a vacation.
11. Your downtime isn’t down enough
If rather than going for a run or participating in fun activities in your off-hours, all you can manage to do is drag yourself to your couch when you get home because your energy level is so depleted, you probably need to reenergize.
12. You daydream about anything but work
When you find yourself daydreaming at work more and more about winning the lottery or dream vacations rather than focusing on your and your company’s goals and well-being, it’s time to book a trip.