Who wants an obituary that reads “he/she worked hard all of their life, they never missed a day of work, they will be missed.” Use those sick days, vacation days and personal days to recharge your batteries. If you have a job that offers these benefits they are meant to be used. I have actually met people who left their vacation days on the table—they did not use them.
Each year I am trying to figure out how I can get more paid vacation. I have the option to buy an extra week and if I could buy another week I would. I am just wrapping up a project that has been physically and emotionally draining and I need some time to recover. Fortunately, I have a job that understands when you need to take some time. We do not have to use our sick days just for being sick. We can “plan” a sick day, which is nice. No need to put on an act when you call in sick with a fake cough or sore throat. I try to stay well throughout the year so I can use my days and not lose them.
Here are a few good ways to get your groove back. Watch a funny movie, I love to laugh, laughing always make me feel better. Take a power nap, dance to your favorite music. Last week when Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly died, a few stations were playing “Jump,” what a great song to get up and move to, Kelly was one half of the duo Kris Kross.
If work has you tapped out, do something that refills your bucket. Remember when Julia Roberts makes Richard Gere take off his shoes and walk on the grass in Pretty Woman? The world looks different when you give yourself permission to escape from responsibility and reconnect with your happy self. On especially tough days, get a reality check or soft shoulder by reaching out to a friend or trusted advisor for a pep talk. One thing that I did that did wonders for my self-esteem was looking through my scrap book and just reading a few letters from readers. Have a glass of wine, typically I don’t drink, but every now and then an adult beverage can do the body good, and can help put everything into perspective. Have a nice dinner and bottle of wine. Relax, and enjoy the moment. Your problems won’t go away, but it’ll be easier to reflect on the things in life that are worth working for.
Go for a brisk walk, or head straight to the gym for a spin class or the nearest yoga studio. Give your mind a chance to drift, dream, and problem-solve. Go for a drive—we have had some beautiful weather—open the windows and take in nature. If that’s not enough, take a long weekend, and don’t bring your laptop. Or take a real vacation, and get a fresh perspective from a different time zone. The bottom line here is to recharge and revive.
(Email the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)