Hustle culture is real. We all know someone who brags about the fact they’re always working. Late nights, early morning, working on weekends… Some people choose this lifestyle, but it can become toxic and dangerous if it goes unchecked. We need to move toward a culture that understands that time off from work isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s not a weakness, it’s a form of self-care.
Not convinced? Here are three ways that time off from work can make your life and your career stronger.
Avoid Burnout and Fatigue
If you’re the type of person that likes to bring their all to work every day, that’s great! But, are you making sure you have enough time to recharge and relax so you can keep up with this kind of demand?
Whether it’s a staycation, a vacation, or just a small mental health break, taking time off from work can help you avoid burnout and fatigue. According to a LinkedIn article, 72% of Americans did not take a vacation in the summer of 2020. The constant grind of work, along with other stressors like finance and health, can build up and make it harder for you to perform at your best. You can also risk “boreout” – feeling like you’re becoming a zombie repeatedly performing a task you don’t really care about or believe in anymore.
In order to truly step away, that means you take time off from work without checking in, bringing your computer, or even checking emails. Truly disconnecting is the best way to ensure you’re reducing your stress levels and reconnecting with your body and the people that matter to you.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
When you’re thinking about work, you’re most likely not balancing thoughts about your mental health. Your mental well-being has a huge influence on your productivity and output. You should absolutely be taking time off from work for physical health reasons (like sickness), but you should also consider using time off to check in with your mental health.
In a New York Times article, Natalie C. Dattilo, a clinical health psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said: “Your body needs a rest, your brain needs a break.”
A recent study from Prodoscore found that productivity increased 47% in 2020, despite the COVID-19 lockdown. Another study found that self-reported employee burnout increased from pre-pandemic 42% to 72% in August 2020. The CDC found that symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders have risen compared to 2019.
It’s a tall order to expect yourself to work harder without taking care of yourself. Taking time off from work, whether it’s an afternoon or a full vacation, can help protect you against pushing too hard and suffering mental or physical setbacks.
Time Off from Work Helps Achieve Work/Life Balance
In a time when it’s easy to bring work home with you, it’s important to achieve a healthy work/life balance. To do this, de-stressing and resting is key.
Take a look at your passions and the people you love most. Have you spent less and less time doing things you love? Are your friends and family missing having you at important events and casual get togethers?
What you do doesn’t have to be your whole life or identity. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or think that you can’t possibly step away from your job, test the theory. Do what you need to and plan to take a day off. See how it feels being relieved of the burden. This helps you really understand what you need to do to walk away for a little bit. And it also helps remind you that your job and company can go on without you for a little bit.
About the Author: Jesi Bolandrina is the Content Marketing Manager at Jobble. As a former gig worker, she knows how hard it can be to feel like you know what you’re doing in an ever-changing workforce. She’s your go-to for news and information from career development, to health and wellness, to finances and more. She curates Jobble’s blog, articles and is the editor of The Everyday Hustle newsletter. If you have any ideas for topics Jobble should cover, let her know.