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How to Deal with the Guilt of Taking Time Off from Work

I usually agonize over taking time off work. Yet, it’s the necessary thing to do. It’s the healthy thing to do.

I’m not alone in this predicament. Nearly half of American workers take less paid time off than they are offered, according to a recent study by the PEW Research Center. Why is that?

It's not uncommon to experience these feelings of guilt when taking time off work. I know first hand how this can weigh on anyone's mind and affect their well-being. Let's explore why this guilt arises and what steps we can take to address it.

Understanding the Guilt of Taking Time Off Work

1. Dedication

Like many of you, I take pride in my work and feel a strong sense of responsibility towards my role, which is a good thing. This dedication can make it challenging to justify taking time away.

2. Fear of Falling Behind

I'm usually afraid to fall behind or miss out on important opportunities when considering time off. It is an unreasonable sentiment. No one at work or around me does anything to aid it. However, the fear is there and greatly contribute to the guilt I often feel. I'm sure you might feel the same.

"It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol." – Brene Brown

Finding Solutions

1. Embrace Self-Care

Remember, taking time off is not just a luxury but a necessity for your overall well-being. Prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout. The author Brene Brown once said: "It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol." Which means, you need to make time for yourself and go on that overdue vacation despite a culture that glorifies busy-ness.

2. Communicate Openly

It is important to discuss your concerns with your manager or colleagues if it will make you feel better, emphasizing the importance of work-life balance and the positive impact it has on both personal and professional growth.

3. Plan Ahead

Get excited about your personal time! After all, you're taking time to pause, breathe, and do something fun. So, carefully plan it in advance, ensuring that you've completed essential tasks or have delegated responsibilities to capable team members. This proactive approach will help alleviate any concerns about falling behind.

4. Set Boundaries

In a post pandemic world with the explosion of work-from-home, it's necessary to establish clear boundaries between work hours and personal time, allowing yourself to fully disconnect during vacations or days off.

5. Trust Your Team

Have confidence in the abilities of your colleagues or team members to handle tasks in your absence. Trusting them will not only empower them but also provide you with peace of mind during your time away.

Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial for long-term success and happiness both personally and professionally. By finding a healthy balance between work commitments and personal life, you'll be able to give your best in all areas without sacrificing your well-being.

Now, I don't know about you but I'm on my way to taking that well-deserved time off, recharging, and returning refreshed! You're welcome to do the same, it will change your perspective!

How did you deal with this type of guilt before? Sound off in the comment section below.

Until next time, be kind to yourself and others!



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