How to take time off… Ah, holidays and vacations. We need to take this time to enjoy family and friends, and not worry about work. But Americans are known as work worry-warts.

Yes, staffing is a worry, fear of layoffs, too much on the work pile, technology addiction, FOMO (fear of missing out) and then we don’t get the recovery our body needs. Exhaustion is the cause of poor work and poor work relationships. Without recovery, employees become cranky, have chronic stress, unplanned absenteeism, negative behavior, and job burnout, and the main reason is exhaustion.

So, how to take time off? The solution is mind over matter. Tell yourself you come first. You earned this time off. Reframe that negative thought to a beach scene or road trip seeing the sights scene. You can do it. Cardiac disease, strokes, cancer, hives, migraines are why we need to take care of ourselves first. As the saying goes: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. Your physical body requires downtime.

In the field of positive psychology, research has shown that time off creates a positive mood. Vacations build positive mood, as Barbara Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina has documented. She has said “Taking delight in my family, my time in nature, and in the chance to do work that I find endlessly fascinating and rewarding. My smile grows even bigger when I think about how lucky I am to have such delights be part of my everyday life.”

Take time away from the grind. Get out into nature. Then come back ready and refreshed. That’s how to take time off!

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