Avoiding Burnout by Reclaiming Vacation Time

My niece is away at summer camp, and I’m feeling a bit of vacation envy.

Yep. I’m jealous of an 8-year-old.

For a full week, she will be OFF.

No phone. No contact with family. Nothing to worry about or think about.

Just a week-long escape from her usual routine, filled with fun activities, time outside, and relaxing.

When was the last time you took a vacation like that?

Do your employees get vacations like that?

Or are you like most of us – taking an “almost vacation” – where you’re still available for “emergencies” and you check your emails daily.

Or not taking vacation at all.

Do you ever dream about what it might be like to be “off the grid” for a full week or two, to just be able to release everything for a while?

It’s summer vacation time and I’m hearing things like:

  • “It’s not worth it to go on vacation. I spend so much time getting ready to go, then when I get back I have all the catching up to do.”
  • “Vacation is just answering emails in a different atmosphere. Why bother?”
  • “I’m too busy to go on vacation. It’s just too hard to schedule.”

Why is this?

I believe that as a culture, we’ve lost our ability to relax, refresh, and disconnect.

Overwork has become a badge of honor, we’ve become impatient, and we’ve lost sight of our priorities.

Burnout is on the rise.

As a leader or manager, your first focus is your people.

What might happen if you:

  • Set clear expectations around “work time” and “off time” – giving yourself and your staff permission to take vacation time and truly disconnect.
  • Supported your vacationing staff by not sending emails, not texting a quick question, not expecting them to work or even be “in the loop” while they’re away.
  • Lead by example by taking vacations yourself. Real vacations where you are not available and not checking in.

The work will still be there when you get back.

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