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Are Your Vacations Sucking the Life Out of You?

You know the old saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” isn’t always true. Sometimes what happens in Vegas follows you back to the office!  A European study found that 23% of vacationers noticed no difference in how rested they felt when they returned from their time away! None! An astounding 17% actually reported feeling worse after their vacation!

This is likely why so many people grumble about needing a vacation to recover from their vacation. The line between our personal lives and work lives is exceedingly thin. Our work has a huge impact on our personal lives, and the reverse is also true. What happens on our vacations, or during any of our downtime, can have a huge impact on how we cope with stress at work, our creativity, productivity and workplace morale.

Here are a few tips to help make sure you effectively recharge during your vacation:

  • Ensure there’s enough rest and relaxation time built into your vacation. If you are racing around 14 hours a day trying to see everything there is to see and do everything there is to do chances are you won’t return to work feeling refreshed.
  • Plan as much as you need to before you leave to make sure you can leave your job worry-free. For some tips, check out: 8 Things to Do Before Leaving on Vacation
  • Manage expectations and communicate with the rest of your family or travel companions about what your priorities are during your time off. This is especially critical if it’s an “oblication”: a vacation where you are obliged to visit relatives! bigstock-Female-Hands-Balancing-Work-An-47462284
  • Create a plan for how you check in with the office and how often you check in, if at all. Make sure both sides understand the expectations and do whatever is going to work to ensure you can relax worry-free. Some people report feeling less stressed knowing they can check in every 4 days to make sure everything’s okay at work; while others want a complete breaks. You need to do what works best for you.
  • Plan your reading material. If bringing work-related reading material will only stress you out and remind you of the office too much, then only bring things to read that will give your brain the relaxing diversion it needs.
  • Build a cushion of an extra day off to decompress before returning to the office.
  • Tell people your actual work return date is a day later than it really is. That way you have an entire day free of commitments at work to allow you to catch up on e-mails and phone calls.
  • Don’t try to do everything on your first day back!  It will still be there tomorrow, so pace yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Above all else, be intentional about planning enough fun and downtime in your off hours, because what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

Michael Kerr, Humor at Work.  Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame international business speakers who travels the world researching, writing, and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures that create outrageous results. 

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