How to Handle Time Off When You Work from Home and Can’t Travel

Relax at Home

As we near, and surpass, the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely you’re way beyond burnt out. Are you more tired these days? Less motivated? Feeling a bit defeated? Suffering from headaches? Yes, that’s burnout. And no, you’re not alone.

Before you go feeling even more down on yourself, remember we’ve all experienced things for the first time this year, felt new emotions, new frustrations and we really, really need to get out. Get out of the house, state, country. Just get away from the normal day-to-day and relax.

That’s hard to do these days. And when you’re home most of the time with the role of employee, sounding board, chef, cleaner, teacher, etc. it can feel like you never have a moment to breathe. But at the same time, why take time off from work to not go anywhere? Well, the short answer is because you need a break. You need to take something off your plate. You need to give yourself back some time in the day. You need some alone time.

Paid time off is a benefit for a reason, so take it. Take a week off even if you have no plans to go anywhere. It’s easy to feel guilty about taking time off when you’re working from home and not physically going on vacation. But your brain needs that vacation. It needs to make less decisions. Worry less about deadlines, clients and meeting times.

Plus, you’re not as much of an asset to your team at work (or home) when you’re tired, unmotivated and feeling generally negative. Take time to reset and give yourself a break. But really commit. Don’t worry about the annual cleaning tasks you’ve yet to get to or the other things on your never-ending personal “to-do” list.

Instead, remember what it feels like to be away from home with time off. What would you do? Would you sleep in? Go out or order something in for dinner? Watch a movie in the middle of the day? Read an entire book in a few days? Pull out your favorite hobby?

All of those things can be done from your home or local area, too. While you might not be hearing the waves lap at the sand or enjoying sweeping mountain views, you can give your brain a break.

If we’ve convinced you to take some time off despite not taking an actual vacation, here are a few ways to spend your newfound free time:

  • Visit a local museum.
  • Get outside: Take a hike, visit a park, take a walk.
  • Sleep! Whenever you want to. Take a nap.
  • Finish that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch but keep falling asleep during.
  • Cook a new recipe you’ve been dying to try.
  • If you hate to cook, order dinner every night.
  • Start a new hobby or resume an old one.

Basically, do what you want to do. At least part of the time. You deserve it.

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