Canadians and Americans aren’t taking all of the paid vacation days they’re entitled to. Some don’t take any of them at all. I feel like this refers to some sort of aliens because it’s not a concept I’m familiar with. I take every single scrap of time off I’ve earned, and I always have.
Studies show we’re stressed, depressed and need rest and one of the reasons is because we don’t take enough time to clean the mental palate from the pressures of working.
Why don’t people take their vacations? Guilt. We have survivor’s guilt in this era of staff cutbacks and mass layoffs. So-and-so in the cubicle next to me lost their job. The thinking is, how can I take time off to rest when they don’t even have work?
Some people fear that absence will make the boss’s heart grow colder. I’ve seen it happen in radio. Someone gets replaced for good when they go on vacation. It sucks, and I hope it’s rare, but it does happen.
I’ve also known people who refuse to take a staycation. If they can’t go away, they won’t take time off. Personally, I enjoy sometimes waking up in my own bed and realizing I don’t actually have to get up for anything at all. That’s when I really feel like I’m off work. I also feel that way when I’m gazing up at the Eiffel Tower, but that’s not something I can do every year.
Some people also worry about the amount of work that will pile up while they’re gone and that prevents them from going away. I look at it this way: If I was hit by a bus tomorrow, they wouldn’t shut down the radio station. They would replace me and get everything done that needs doing. Take a holiday. Read a book. Reorganize your sock drawer. Do something other than what you have to do every day for someone else. It’s good for the soul, the mind and life in general.