According to the U.S. Travel Association, “52 percent of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017.” If you can count yourself as one of those employees, chances are your body is begging you for a day away from work. It’s desperate for some time to explore your favorite areas, to jet off to quaint New England islands, or to dig into some scrumptious food.
So make the decision to take a day off and realign your body and soul. Whatever it is that rejuvenates you—do it! Even day trips can be just as refreshing as weeklong vacations. If you’re unsure whether a day off is something you truly need, check out these eight signs that point toward the need to take at least one day off—maybe more.
1. You’re exhausted, but you can’t sleep.
Maybe what you really need is a day to sleep in, take a long nap, or go to bed early. Overworking yourself mentally can lead to physical exhaustion, which can in turn lead to two things: the desire to sleep all the time and the inability to fall asleep once you’re in bed. When you’re constantly stressed from daily events, your sleep can be affected. Taking a day to catch up on your sleep is a wonderful way to restore your cognitive and emotional abilities.
2. You haven’t enjoyed the outdoors in over a month.
Physical activity is crucial for a healthy mind, body, and soul. The more static your life becomes, the less energy you’ll have for work, relationships, and your general well-being. Take a day off and go outside, walk around the town, bike along the water, hike up some bluffs or mountains. The more often you get outside, the greater chance you have of living a longer and healthier life.
3. Your idea of a vacation is coming in late to work.
If you’ve ever told yourself that coming in late to work is just as good as taking a whole day off, then it’s definitely time to use your vacation days. Never taking a day off to unwind is bad enough, but once you start extending your work hours, you’re just asking for a mental breakdown. Take the day off and spend some of that time restructuring your workload—or don’t do any work at all! Get back in touch with what truly makes you joyful.
4. You can’t remember what you do for fun.
When was the last time you did something that was fun for you? If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long. You should strive to spend one day at least every one or two months focusing solely on what makes you happy. Whether it’s strolling through museums, golfing, or whale watching, take a day off to do just that. You’ll be so happy you took the time for yourself.
5. Family time is nonexistent.
If family members greet you with something along the lines of, “How are you, stranger?”, it may be time to take a day trip with the family. Take a Friday off and head for your favorite destination with the family. Make a list of activities that includes one thing each person wants to do. That way, your family members will truly connect and understand one another again.
6. You keep canceling social plans.
Just as family time is important, so is making time for friendships. You may be a workaholic—and maybe your friends are, too—but that doesn’t mean you should let your friendships slide by. Friends and loved ones help keep us both grounded and uplifted. Take a Friday or Monday off for a long weekend girls’ trip to Martha’s Vineyard, or take a day to explore Boston’s thriving food scene. Whatever you do, make sure you get in some quality friend time—you and your friends will be thankful for it.
7. You keep getting sick.
Can’t seem to get rid of those pesky colds? If you keep having to visit the doctor or take medicine, then maybe it’s time to slow down and take a day to rest. Constant sickness is a pretty clear-cut sign that your health is paying the price for your burned-out brain and lifestyle. Recurring ailments are a signal that you’re in dire need of a mental health day. Go get a massage, lay out at the beach, or just take a long nap—whatever you choose, you’ll be happier and healthier for it.
8. You feel disconnected.
Sitting indoors in front of a screen, buried under a to-do list, day in and day out, can make you feel detached from the rest of the world. It’s easy to feel lonely and withdrawn when work is the center of your world. Pushing yourself too far at work is an easy way to quickly reach those feelings. When you find yourself withdrawing from the people you love and the activities you enjoy because of work demands, then it may be time to take a day off. Get together with friends to help restore your sense of belonging or help someone in need to give yourself a sense of purpose.
Whatever your reason is for needing a vacation—just take it. You deserve at least one day to rejuvenate yourself. Too often in life, we focus on the things that may seem important at the time but that may not be so important in the long run. Although a job is certainly important, is it more important than your well-being, than your relationships? In the grand scheme of things, your connections with friends and family members and your ability to understand and focus on what’s really important and enjoyable to you are much more important than working endlessly.
Our advice? Take a day trip from Boston to Newport, RI, and take in all the relaxation you need in a beautiful location. Visit New England Trips for a day off that will rejuvenate you for months to come. You won’t regret it!