Americans just aren’t great at taking their vacations. It’s true: 768 million vacation days went unused in 2018. That’s a 9% increase from 2017, according to CNN. At the same time, Deloitte reports that 77% of professionals say they’ve experienced burnout at their current job. This is especially true in some of the fields that experienced high stress during COVID, such as healthcare. How can employees recognize the signs that they need some time off? What are the benefits of taking vacation time? How can vacation reduce burnout, especially in high stress fields such as healthcare?
Signs You Need a Vacation
The signs are out there that the American workforce is stress to the max, but we’re still not taking the time off we should. This was particularly true during the pandemic when social distancing and business closures forced many Americans into staycations. But many of us just skipped time off entirely, choosing instead to keep working through high levels of frustration and stress.
A Deloitte study showed American workers are struggling:
- 31% say they have a lack of support or recognition from leadership.
- 30% say they have unrealistic deadlines and goals.
- 29% say they’re working consistently long hours including on the weekends.
The issue may be the worst in the healthcare field, where even doctors report such high burnout that they’re considering quitting the field entirely. Healthcare system Alliana Health reports on the benefits of taking time off to alleviate stress and burnout symptoms. Taking a vacation can help with:
- Improving your physical health by reducing coronary heart disease.
- Improving your mental health by lessening stress.
- Improving sleep quality, alleviating depression, and improving mood.
- Improving your productivity when you return to the job.
If you’re stressed and depressed, you’re in good company. But sometimes it’s hard to recognize the symptoms that signal you need a vacation. Here are some of the signs to look for:
- You’re on edge and irritable.
- You forget things because there is so much weighing on your mind.
- Your doctor visit doesn’t go well; you’re having clinical symptoms of ill health.
- You feel depressed and unmotivated.
- You’re drinking or eating more and don’t have time to exercise.
- You can’t sleep even though you feel so tired.
- You can’t wrap your mind around all of the tasks you have and are easily distracted or lack focus.
- You’re drinking way too much coffee.
- Work has become your life.
- You’re having problems with your relationships.
If you have any or all of these symptoms it’s time to pay attention and schedule some time off. Your mental and physical health is far too important to continue down this path. But you may feel like your job isn’t secure enough to step away. Or, there may be so much extra work right now that even though you are desperate for time off, you simply can’t get what you need. What can you do?
Looking to Find a New Job?
Sometimes the best medicine for burnout is to step away and find another work environment. That’s where the Custom Group of Companies can help. We learned a lot of lessons from 2020, and one of them is that life is too short to suffer in a job that is burning you out. Talk with our team. We can help.
WE’VE GOT ANSWERS:CONTACT US