Too stressed to leave work for vacation? 8 ways to prepare and truly disconnect.
Does part of you dread going on vacation because of the mountain of work waiting for you when you return (or catastrophes that might happen when you are gone)?
Well, for one thing that is definitely a sign you are in need of a vacation, but I am also here to tell you there are ways to prepare yourself to lower the stress that leads up to and follows your time away.
Read on for my top 8 strategies for stepping out of the office and into vacation-mode…
1. PLAN AHEAD AND DELEGATE WORK
Planning ahead is the best way to really be able to disconnect from work on vacation. It can be extremely difficult and stressful to step away from all of our career and life responsibilities, so make a game plan of how to best do so. Make a list of what will need to be done, prep yourself and your team, and delegate as much of your work as you possibly can.
2. SET A SMART OUT-OF-OFFICE REPLY
Having an email out-of-office message that notifies people you are on vacation and directs them where to go is critical. Normally people do not want to bother you during your time off and will happily wait or seek help elsewhere.
If you do want to make yourself available for urgent needs, I use the strategy of telling people to reply with the subject line “URGENT” as well as giving my cell phone number for emergencies – with the caveat that it still may take longer than normal for me to respond. This helps me quickly sort through a mountain of emails to see if anything is time sensitive.
3. CHOOSE A DESTINATION THAT IS “OFF-THE-GRID”
Want to get off-the-grid? Well then, get off the grid! There are lots of great places with very limited cell coverage to force you to really disconnect and reconnect with yourself, nature or loved ones. Having limited access to cell service and Wifi forces you to be unavailable and those at home to adjust. I can definitely help select the perfect off-the-beaten-path for you!
4. PUT YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE
Even if you are at a location with cell coverage, all you have to do is switch your phone into airplane mode and you are instantly unavailable! (This is also a great way to avoid international roaming charges if you are out of the country.)
5. TAKE NO-TECHNOLOGY TIME
We spend so much time looking at screens in our daily life. Whether it be leaving your phone in the hotel room or just deciding to do something except watching TV at the end of the day, set some time aside to intentionally take your eyes off a screen.
6. SET UP A CHECK-IN TIME
If you do have to check in on work, set a specific (and limited) time when you are available and working. I often find this is best in the mornings, because I can spend the rest of the day knowing I went through everything from the day before and answered anything extremely urgent. Maybe this means waking up an hour or two early before the family is awake, BUT trust me, it is worth it to have a relaxing rest of your day on vacation.
7. RELAX WITH A SPA TREATMENT OR WELLNESS CLASS
Everyday our busy minds are often spinning with to-do lists, responsibilities and schedules. Make sure you are taking time to mentally and physically disconnect from the daily chaos with a spa treatment, yoga class, meditation session or quiet time reading a book. Treat yourself to some “me time” – this is vacation after all!
8. STAY ACCOUNTABLE
Stick to your plan! There are lots of ways to stay accountable from asking a team member at home for help or having the entire family decide to stay off their phones for a specific amount of time. There are even many great apps out there that track your screen time and can help keep you accountable.
And most importantly...
I always like to remind myself and my clients that we all work so hard every day so that we can spend our time and money on a vacation to relax, enjoy and reconnect with ourselves, nature or loved ones. Your vacation is your reward for all the hours you have put in at the office. You deserve to truly enjoy it!
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Reach out to me today to get started!