How Vacation Time Helps You Avoid Burnout

How Vacation Time Helps You Avoid Burnout

Even the busiest of us need a vacation at some point. Taking regular breaks at work is how to make sure you’re eating enough and resting. Sometimes though, you need a more extended break to recuperate and time to appreciate the world outside of your job. Read more about burnout below and find out how to recharge your energy with a vacation, even when you have a busy weekly routine.

Table of Contents

What Is Burnout?

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of exhaustion from the long-term demands of a stressful environment. Burnout can apply to many situations, from course loads to emotional stress. Workplace burnout is one of the most common forms, bringing mental and emotional fatigue that causes self-doubt and adverse health consequences.

Feeling burnt out can bring a sense of disillusionment and feelings that you have tried your hardest without achieving your expectations. It can happen to anyone, and people with a high degree of commitment to their jobs are especially susceptible. The best way to overcome career fatigue is by resting more and giving yourself some time to recover. According to the effort-recovery model, recovery opportunities are part of your healthy workplace homeostasis.

Some common causes of burnout include:

  • Lack of autonomy: You have little choice in your workload, scheduling or other factors. 
  • Difference in values: You feel that your values are different from those of your workplace or coworkers.
  • Lack of guidance or support: Your job responsibilities are unclear, and you feel like your boss or organization is unavailable to support you.
  • Dysfunctional environment: You feel that your team or organization makes tasks cumbersome or, in some cases, more complex. 
  • Demanding workload: You have to quickly finish large amounts of work every day to keep up with the fast pace of your job.
  • Lack of recognition: Your hard work and achievements seem to go unnoticed, and you feel unappreciated despite how much you have done for the business.
  • Repetitive, low-reward work: Your work is monotonous and unstimulating. It might be easy to get through, but you feel like you’re running on autopilot.

Many jobs with high customer traffic will result in employee burnout, but any industry shares the same potential for workers to get overwhelmed. Keep reading to find out how you can recognize burnout at work.

Signs You Might Be Feeling Burnt Out

Do you think you might need to get a few more hours of sleep throughout the week? Or maybe you feel like unfocused and should restrict your mind from wandering while you’re on the clock? Below is a list of signs that might indicate your problem is a little more complex.

You could be burnt out if you frequently:

  1. Have low energy and feel that it is difficult to motivate yourself to go to work.
  2. Think about quitting often and fantasize about getting a new job.
  3. Feel empty and tired throughout the day.
  4. Put off sleep because you’re dreading work in the morning.
  5. Have a critical attitude about work or while you’re working.
  6. Feel like you want to leave work as soon as you arrive.
  7. Experience physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as headaches, nausea and stomach pains. 
  8. Feel annoyed by the people around you or withdraw emotionally from them.
  9. Feel that your work is pointless or goes unrecognized by others.

If you think you might be experiencing burnout, the consequences could be more serious than you might expect. Burnout decreases your productivity, making you a less effective worker. When only one employee experiences burnout, the rest of the team might begin to struggle to pick up the slack.

Burnout also tempts you to leave a job you used to be passionate about. Burnout can even result in physical symptoms. One significant effect of workplace stress is that it negatively impacts your health. Chronic stress over a long-term period can have severe consequences on your immune system, cardiovascular system and others.

How to Avoid Burnout in the Workplace

If you feel burnt out or are working stressful long hours, you can always change your routine to accommodate more self-care. Maintaining a good work-life balance might seem simple, but what are some ways you can fit all of the important things into your schedule?

The following list of ideas for preventing burnout will help you plan to prioritize your needs and aspirations. You might also pick up a few ideas about how to escape burnout if you’re already struggling:

1. Know Your Limits and Set Boundaries

Even if you work long hours, set aside some personal time each day. If you try to stay on the clock 24-7, burnout will be inevitable. It’s also a good idea to make sure you get enough sleep and that you have regular downtime on weekends.

You might feel like many professionals that your job demands that you skip sleep sometimes, but research shows that productivity can decrease if you continue working without adequate rest. If you set clear boundaries for when you need to rest by scheduling downtime on your calendar, you will be more likely to stick to your new routine. 

Feed Your Passions

2. Feed Your Passions

If you feel like your workplace is unmotivating, bring part of your personal life into the scene. If you enjoy gardening, get some succulents for your desk, or ask if you can set a few near a break room window. If you have pets, frame some pictures of your furry friends to keep near you.

It’s important to pursue your passions outside of work too. Taking part in hobbies and other rewarding activities on a routine basis will help you feel like you’re achieving your goals. It can be hard to set time aside for yourself, but finding the time is worthwhile.

3. Exercise

Working out can be a great way to get some personal time in throughout your week, and you will feel more motivated each time you reach a personal goal at the gym. Regular exercise also helps with stress management and benefits your overall health and wellness. Staying fit will enhance your self-esteem and stamina, translating into better performance on the job and an overall better work-life balance than you would have without getting regular exercise.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves meditating on the small moments in life to ground yourself and relax. You can explore mindfulness by taking a yoga or meditation class, learning deep-breathing techniques or even exercising. Learning to breathe correctly for boxing or martial arts can even be considered a type of mindfulness. 

5. Take a Vacation

Longer vacations away from work will help you truly enjoy life to the fullest. A vacation can feel like a reward for everything you have achieved so far. While you’re out of the office, unplug yourself completely. Leave the emails alone, and tell your coworkers to tell anyone who asks that you are unavailable. 

How a Vacation Can Help You Avoid Burnout

When you’re on vacation, you can leave your worries behind for a while and enjoy exploring a new area with loved ones or on your own. Hitting the road is more than a way to have fun. Research shows that productivity increases when workers are given more time off. A vacation can help boost your drive in more than one way.

A vacation mainly helps prevent burnout by giving you extra time. Many professionals use their vacation as an opportunity to get caught up with work or do additional work to stay ahead. Working while you’re supposed to be relaxing is best avoided. There are plenty of other ways to use this time to your advantage.

Below are some ways that taking time off now can save you from struggling to finish your shifts later:

  • Time for self-care: Giving yourself a break will help you stay focused and productive.
  • Time for professional development: A vacation can be a great learning opportunity in the right environment.
  • Time for planning and goal-setting: Reflecting on what you would like to accomplish counts as motivating light work.

Spending time away is beneficial for your work-life balance and can lead you to be highly productive for working toward personal goals.

10 Benefits of Taking a Vacation

10 Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Vacationing has health-related benefits in addition to keeping you from feeling burnt out. Here are 10 benefits that show the importance of vacation time:

1. Reduced Stress

 Being over-stressed at work increases the level of cortisol in your body, which contributes to poor health over time. Cortisol levels drop when you spend time relaxing, share in laughter, consume entertainment and of course, go on vacation. 

2. Better Energy Conservation

Taking enough time to rest has researched benefits for professionals involved in office life and various industries—even professional athletes. Going away on leave will help you conserve your energy for when you really need it.

3. Improved Mental Health

Do you often find yourself thinking about the next deadline, an upcoming important meeting or a random error you made one day? A vacation will give you the peace of mind to think about other things. Mental and emotional stress can be just as exhausting as physical stress on your body. Giving your mind a rest from the office will improve your mental health.

4. Improved Wellbeing

Your body requires rest and maintenance to function well. In one study, employees returned from vacation showing signs of recuperation and an improved sense of wellbeing for up to a month after they went back to work. By taking a break and taking time away from work, you can help your body rest and recharge, so you have the energy to tackle the day. 

Taking care of your wellbeing is essential for feeling productive, energetic, and positive both at work and in your everyday life. 

5. Lowered Risk of Health Problems

Some physical effects of stress include high blood pressure, increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke and flare-ups of underlying health conditions. Studies show that going on regular vacations lowers your risk of having a heart attack.

6. Increased Motivation

After you return from traveling, you might discover that your motivation has been restored and that you are ready for more work. Spending time away puts you in a more optimistic mindset. You feel refreshed and ready for more work.

Being consistent with break time, rest periods and days off is the healthiest way to stay productive. If you regularly catch up on work because you felt tired the day before, you will draw nearer to burnout as each week passes. Going on a vacation once a year will provide your routine recuperation. Studies show that additional vacation hours increase performance ratings and morale. 

7. Stronger Relationships

A vacation gives you well-deserved time with your friends and family. Spend enough time away, and you will also grow to miss friendly coworkers and your favorite clients. Vacations help you strengthen your relationships by putting you in a positive mood and reminding you of the people who make life worthwhile. 

8. Increased Happiness

Planning a vacation gives you something to look forward to. You might find that your mood lifts in the weeks before you set off for your trip. You will also have learning opportunities unrelated to your usual daily responsibilities while you’re away, and expanding your knowledge of your interests will also elevate your mood.

Happier employees tend to stay with the company longer, be more productive and produce higher-quality work. Happiness is also linked to personal fulfillment and a longer life expectancy. 

9. Improved Quality of Sleep

A vacation is a good chance for regulating your body clock if you have been spending late nights doing extra work. When you’re on vacation, you tend to wake up later and get out of bed when you feel like it. After you return to your regular shifts, you can try setting boundaries around your required hours of sleep to get enough rest.

The average adult requires __ hours of sleep every night. If you’re getting less, chances are that you feel tired in the daytime. A vacation can correct an inconsistent sleep schedule, leading you to become your most productive self.

10. Time for Reflection

You might need the free time so that you can hear yourself think. Taking time off for a vacation gives you the perfect opportunity to think about your future plans or discuss recent events with people. If you have recently been through a traumatic event, a vacation can give you enough time to process your emotions.

Go on a Windstar Cruise for Your Next Vacation

Go on a Windstar Cruise for Your Next Vacation

Do you need a vacation that takes you farther away from work than usual? Windstar gives travelers the experience of unique seaside cultures and fine dining on the water. You have many destinations to choose from, whether you want to visit the nearest coast or leave the States entirely.

Our cruise ships are small and can dock at ports where larger cruises miss out on. You can take in the scenery on your journey and explore new and fascinating port cities when you arrive. Browse Windstar’s cruises to find your next destination.

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