Why It’s Still Important to Take Time Off

With all the holidays and the end of the year upon us, we are entering a time when people traditionally tend to take vacation. During the pandemic though, people might be considering not taking time off because travel and social gatherings are being limited. Even if you don’t have any vacation plans, it is worth remembering the importance of time away from work.

If you are in a position where you can take some time off, it is advisable to do so. It’s important to take time to switch off and give your head some space. Multiple studies have shown that this improves our creativity, productivity, and performance when we return to work. Being able to truly detach from work can also help prevent burnout.  Burnout is a looming work threat these days with many of us juggling multiple roles on top of managing our “Zoom fatigue”.

Arguably, taking time off from work is more important now amid the pandemic than ever before. Days blur together and employees in the U.S. are on average working 2.5 hours more a day. The blurred lines of work and life can lead people to feel like they are “always on”.

Recently, Arianna Huffington made this point in a blog post for Thrive Global, her technology company aiming at supporting individuals struggling with stress and burnout. She notes that “athletes were the first to recognize that recovery is an essential part of peak performance.” She encourages applying this same principle for work.

Even if this year is different and exceptional, it is still important for our mental health to celebrate our chosen holidays and traditions. Traditions around the holidays often give us a chance for a meaningful pause and reflection.  These yearly behaviors often serve as a way to reinforce our values and help contribute to our own sense of comfort and belonging. This year, we might not be able to celebrate all of our traditions in the usual way, but it is important to carve out time and space to relax, recharge and celebrate in ways that we can.

We will be taking our own advice and pausing posts, but we will return with new OITE Career blog posts in January 2021.  We have all endured a very challenging year and we wish you a safe and peaceful holiday season!

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