Burnout is a recognized medical disorder, so there. The syndrome was formally defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 25, 2019, as low energy, exhaustion, and negativity brought on by ongoing job stress.
One of the most typical remedies for feeling exhausted is to take a holiday. Time spent away from the workplace, however, isn’t always as carefree as it sounds. According to a 2018 American Psychological Association (APA) study, 28% of US adults worked more than they anticipated during the holidays, and 21% of US adults felt stressed during their vacation. These trends can have negative effects. Research has shown that working while unwinding has a bad impact on your relationships, prevents you from experiencing the moment fully, and mentally drains you.
In summary, Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute, tells Time that blurring the lines between work and leisure time can be detrimental to your health.
According to psychologists, your employer must honor your leave time and your limitations if you want to enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Regardless of how you feel about your relationship with work, here are seven methods to help you unwind while on vacation.
- Stay away from the cell phone
According to Hall, “our brains are wired for technology.” And we have relationships with our employers and coworkers. The average person touches their smartphone 2,617 times per day, according to a 2016 survey by the research firm Discount, which also found that there is a growing obsession with personal technology devices. On average, 10% of smartphone owners touch their screens 5,427 times per day. Hall points out that just because someone is on holiday doesn’t mean their phone is turned off.
Not so much the texts from work as the sheer thought of work is one of the biggest stressors that results from this connection to technology. According to Bill Becker, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business who specializes in organizational behavior, “this idea that you might get an e-mail, the worry that you’ll always be connected to your cell phone, seems to be much more damaging.”
- Stay away from the computer
The frequency at which we connect and look for updates is up to each of us. According to Becker, it can be comforting for some people to check their email once per day or even do a half-hour of work each day before putting their phones aside. Jaime Kurtz, an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University and the author of The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations, suggests that some people might function better by designating a day without internet access or by only having access to Wi-Fi at specific times of the day (such as in a hotel room).
- Spend as much time as possible outdoors
According to Hall, “Nature has an incredible power to relax and heal us”—especially if you work in an office and don’t get out much during the course of a typical day. When you are on annual leave, try to spend as much time as you can in nature because it is associated with an improvement in both emotional and psychological health. It doesn’t matter what you do when you enjoy nature. You can be active, for example walking, running, gardening or simply sitting on a park bench or spending time looking at the sky.
Hall advises concentrating on your senses and enjoying the things you miss when you’re engrossed in mobile devices to make the most of the outdoors. Examples include admiring the blue sky or inhaling the sea air.
- Announce your plans before you leave work
Despite being frequently disregarded, preparing your workplace for your licensure is crucial. The advice of experts is to let your employer and coworkers know before your journey. According to David Ballard, director of the APA’s office of applied psychology, it is crucial to think about the fundamental duties that must be performed while you are away and to develop a strategy for handling any eventualities.
Additionally, it’s critical to let others know in advance about your availability while you’re gone so that their expectations are in line with yours, says Ballard.
- Live with spontaneity
You might be inclined to schedule every minute of your time if you are only staying a short while in a new location. However, spontaneity is one of the key factors in determining people’s contentment while traveling, according to Kurtz. According to a 2018 study in the journal Current Opinion in Psychology, people tend to prefer spontaneous recreational activities because the implicit time limitations of a schedule can interfere and keep you from experiencing the moment.
- Find the best way to relax
According to research, engaging in some relaxing activities is one of the best ways to recoup from stress and return to life (and work) feeling renewed. Even though it might seem clear, not everyone has the same experiences. Do not be anxious for paystubs. While Kurtz explains that some people find relaxation in yoga or a lengthy walk, others might require more strenuous exercise, like a hike. Relaxation can include simple breathing practice that can help reduce stress. An alternative that can have similar benefits is to use meditation techniques such as mindfulness.
Ballard claims that engaging in mentally stimulating tasks outside of the workplace also aids in stress relief. Whatever activity inspires you, whether it’s a trip to the museum, cooking or sailing classes, the results in reducing stress are very positive.
- Plan your return to work
While many people try to plan their time off from work, Ballard claims that most people don’t consider how they’ll get back. The payroll documentation for self employed will help. The positive effects of a holiday can be completely undone in a matter of days if you return to work and feel stressed right away. Ballard advises staying away from work emails right away after returning or even planning to work from home on the Monday following your trip to prevent this situation. You can regain a manageable speed and workload by scheduling a transition time.