Taking Time Off During COVID-19 and Making the Most of It

If you’ve been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, have you taken any time off?

That doesn’t mean that “working from home/setting my own hours/letting the workday mush into the evening and weekend” schedule that you may have adopted as the months rolled on. There’s nothing wrong with that flexibility, of course. But, you could run the risk of burnout also creeping up on you.

So, consider the question again: Have you really taken any time off? Because it’s just as important now as it ever was, and maybe even more so.

You’re Not Alone

Nobody expected the pandemic to last nearly this long. It was easy at first to postpone time off until you could actually go somewhere beyond your backyard. And career and mental health experts agree: those who have kept their regular jobs during Covid-19 tend to feel guilty, as others struggle with reduced hours or unemployment. It’s a trend seen nationwide. But everyone needs a break. These are unprecedented times, and you may be experiencing new stress factors and emotions, some of which you may not even be aware of until they suddenly hit you with a vengeance.

  • You may need time off for your own mental well-being. It’s harder to set boundaries when working from home. This can result in longer work hours or a feeling that you should be working when you’re not. Time off is a matter of healthy self-care.
  • If all you do is work, you’re only using part of your brain. To be truly well-rounded, you need to take time for non-job-related fun, activities, and relaxation. It’s dangerous to lose that critical sense of balance.
  • Time off can improve your job performance. Taking time to recharge helps you relieve stress and enables you to do a better job overall.
  • Make it Count

    Even if you’re not going anywhere, make your time off truly refreshing. Don’t just take time off – enjoy it!

  • Plan ahead. Make sure your work is covered in your absence, or get it done in advance. If the latter is necessary, get started even earlier, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. And set a schedule for catching up at a realistic pace afterward, so you don’t erase all the good your vacation did.
  • Set expectations for your vacation time. Send an out-of-office message just as you’ve done in the past. If you have separate work phones or other devices, consider physically putting them away for the length of your time off. If not, consider temporarily turning off notifications or deleting work apps.
  • Look for some new activities. After more than nine months of pandemic monotony, it’s natural to feel stir crazy. Try to think of something you haven’t done before and give it a whirl. It may be virtually touring someplace you’ve always wanted to visit, seeking out hiking or biking trails, or taking an online course centering on something just for you, like knitting, baking, or yoga and meditation.

  • Maybe 2021 will be the year you find a new opportunity that makes that work-life balance more realistic, regardless of where you’re working from. Or perhaps you need some additional guidance in keeping it all on track. If so, consider partnering with the career development experts at PrideStaff Fresno. Contact us today to learn more.

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