Your bags are packed. Your flight is booked. You have even applied your suntan lotion before heading to the airport. Vacation is just around the corner. And then it happens. Phones ring, emails ping, and notifications blare from every smart device in your home: Work needs you.
What do you do? Your boss is obviously going to answer this question with, “Well, you pick up the phone and go in to help when they call you in to work!” But is that really the best thing for you? In recent years, the balance between work and life has become skewed for many people.
Our idea of acceptable boundaries has become massively upended by increasing modernization, a stagnating economy, and a workforce decreased by the recent global disease pandemic. Companies need more out of everyone than ever… Or so they say.
But no matter what anyone else needs, you need your rest. You need to be able to live a life outside of work. Here are ten reasons why that is, and why your vacation can’t be delayed.
Vacations make for happier people
Let’s start with the obvious one: Your vacation will make you happy. Happiness does not always register as a valid priority for some people. There is a lot of focus on efficiency and productivity in our culture. But Epiphany Wellness wants you to ask: do humans exist to be productive?
Maybe some do… But only if it makes them happy. And besides, vacations produce a very different kind of happiness than work can.
Work doesn’t need you
This is neither a commentary on your quality as a worker, nor a condemnation of your workplace. The truth is that no matter how valuable any given worker is, a company is usually able to replace them. Maybe it won’t be economical—they might need three people to replace you. But they still can. And if they can do that, then they will survive without you.
Work should respect your time
Vacations are not mandatory in the United States. Workplaces don’t have to give them to you. But you know what? Workers are not mandatory either. You don’t have to give a business your labor if you don’t want to. And if your workplace wants you to endlessly delay your vacation, then you can find somewhere else to pay you.
Excelling doesn’t get you anything
There is a pervasive myth in American culture that the harder you work, the more you will get paid. This is, to put it mildly, not true. Advancement happens through knowing the right people. Raises happen through sucking up to the right people.
All working harder gets you is less time and energy for yourself. Vacation is special because it gives you that time and energy back.
Your family will thank you
Obviously, your family would prefer that you take a vacation. But the definition of your “family” can mean a lot of things. It can mean your spouse and children, if you have those.
But you better believe most parents want their kids to be well rested and enjoying life, even as adults. Your pets will enjoy seeing you on vacation as well.
Your body needs it
When you think vacation, you probably think surfing on the beach, or skiing down a mountain. Essentially, you think of something athletic. Even if you don’t imagine that you will push yourself, you at least imagine yourself going out and doing something somewhere else.
Exertion or no, your body needs that movement. Work too often deprives people of that.
Your brain needs it
You will benefit between your ears from a vacation as well. A change in scenery does some interesting things to your brain. To begin with, it puts you on alert as you leave your state of normalcy and go somewhere unfamiliar, where there might be danger.
But after that tension is resolved and you realize you’re not in danger, your brain will relax. It will be alert, but not anxious, making you more aware and appreciative of your surroundings.
It is important for your brain to have moments like these, as this kind of process is like exercise for it, keeping it independently healthy and away from needing substances to handle itself.
Imagine what you are missing
If you are a workaholic, then work is your comfort zone. You are not concerned for what you’re missing on your vacation, you are concerned for what you’re missing at work.
And that means you might really need to put effort into picturing what you are missing on vacation. You are missing the big things, like new sights and relaxation. But you are also missing meeting new people, learning new perspectives, and trying new things.
It is too easy to let life pass you by if you are never sparing a thought for what might be.
People need risk
Security is critical to living a good life. If you don’t have security and routine, you will become panicky and jumpy. As unintuitive as it is, however, you also need risk.
Imagine that you are trying to surf. There is a moment of uncertainty as you try to stand up on your board. Will you fall? It’s a scary moment, but an important one. It is a moment when your awareness is kicked into overdrive, and everything else disappears.
Humans need that kind of focus to think clearly.
You deserve it
Some people literally “know how to live”. They are good at it. They reward themselves frequently and know how to find fun. But other people treat themselves as if they need to earn pleasure and fun. This is, simply, incorrect. Everyone deserves pleasure and fun.
If you delay your vacation, you are subtly telling yourself that something else is more important.
It might not seem like a high-stakes decision when you are picking between whether or not to take your vacation now or after some work is done… But it is a matter of choosing yourself or choosing something that is not yourself. And you are worth choosing, every time.