Feeling Burnout? Take a Real Vacation

August 2nd, 2019
Saxton Horne

Have you ever felt physically or emotionally exhausted from work? A feeling like nothing you do really matters or that you are no longer a person, just a cog in a machine? If so, you are probably experiencing job burnout, a condition that is affecting productivity worldwide and also translates to loss of revenue for many companies.

Job burnout is the result of workplace stress that can be exacerbated by certain factors like:

  • Unreasonable deadlines
  • High workload
  • Lack of managerial support
  • Having to respond to work-related texts and emails outside of work hours
  • A role that doesn’t fit your individual strengths
  • A weak social support system

Left unchecked, burnout can cause a number of problems in a workplace, such as:

  • Chronic absenteeism
  • High turnover rates
  • Job-hopping
  • General workplace dissatisfaction

Even worse are the health problems linked to workplace burnout:

  • Higher rates of type 2 diabetes
  • Higher rates of coronary heart disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • High cholesterol

So how can chronic burnout be combated? What can the average member of the workplace do to get mentally back on track and reduce stress? Well, one way to overcome feelings of burnout is to simply get out of the office and take a vacation. However, simply getting out of the office isn’t enough. Many people report that they feel stress even when out of office. Others feel pressure to keep working when out of office, and some dread ever going back to the office.

Does this mean a vacation won’t help? Not at all. The trick is to use your vacation time to actually TAKE. A. VACATION. Here are some ways to make this possible.

  • Drop the phone. Being glued to a phone, especially if it receives updates from work, means that you haven’t actually left work. Let the phone go and just experience the world and people around you.
  • Set up an out-of-office notification. If everyone knows you are out of office, they are less likely to hassle you when you are out.
  • Use your vacation days. Some people feel like they can only take a day or two off here and there. If you have vacation days, use them to take an extended break from work. Let yourself recover mentally.
  • Spend time outdoors. Being outside, especially in nature, can help you relax and reduce tension.
  • Don’t talk about work. At all. Even if people ask what you do, don’t talk about it. Let it wait until you get back to work.
  • Reset your work expectations. Plan on being more relaxed when you come back to work. If you feel stressed thanks to deadlines and other factors, tell yourself that you will approach them differently when you get back.

With proper attention to your mental health, you can avoid and overcome burnout, become happier, more well adjusted, and even more productive in the process. Smart companies know this and encourage employees to take a break now and then. Smart employees take advantage of this and actually get some time away.