According to a 2017 survey by Expedia, a large number of Malaysians (by average) don’t fully utilise their leave entitlements. In other words, they don’t take enough breaks. This makes Malaysia one of the world’s most vacation-deprived countries. Gasp!
While it’s admirable to be committed to your work, being unable to detach yourself from your workplace could have adverse effects. Not is it detrimental to your well being, being vacation-deprived can also negatively affect your performance!
If you’re wondering if it’s the right time for you to take a deserved break, read on. Here’s a list of 13 clear signs that you desperately need a break from work to go on vacation.
1. Your performance at work is suffering
Have you been noticing mistakes popping up here and there in your work? Or maybe you find it difficult to focus and have caught yourself simply zoning out? If so, then you might be overworked and burned out.
The accumulated long-term stress from work can narrow your focus drastically, making it seemingly impossible to pay attention to anything other than what you’re currently doing. When this happens, you know it’s time for a break.
2. There’s no fire left in your belly
Do you remember your first day of work? The burning passion to succeed and the unmistakable motivation to do well? While it’s normal for employees to ease up a bit eventually, if you feel completely unmotivated at work of late, then that’s a problem.
You know when you’ve hit that point when your daily tasks feel like an uninspiring, repetitive sequence of events. Even when you complete a major project, you don’t feel the satisfaction anymore. That’s a clear sign that you need some time away.
3. The people in the office are starting to annoy you
In a working environment, there’s bound to be misunderstandings, arguments and different viewpoints. However, if you’ve become overly critical of your colleagues to the point where even the sound of their breathing is triggering you lately, just know that it’s probably not them, it’s you.
It’s you and all that stress you’ve been hogging from work. Take some time off and maybe even get them a souvenir when you come back to patch things up.
4. There’s a disconnect between you and your loved ones
Speaking of patching things up, have you either snapped at your loved ones or completely shut them out from your life lately? Or maybe you’ve missed quite a few important social events because you were “too busy with work”?
If you feel like there’s a growing disconnect between yourself and the people around you because of work, it’s time to take a break and mend these strained relationships. Not only do they negatively impact your performance (see the connection?), they also add on to the stress you bring home from the office.
5. Sleep doesn’t come easy at night
Are you the type of person who falls asleep easily but lately you just can’t seem to find “the right spot”? As you lie on your bed, all you can think about is that upcoming project or that important meeting with that potential client.
As you might have guessed, the main culprit is probably work-related stress. This is another sign that you’ve pretty much reached your limit with work and are in serious need of a recharge.
6. You wake up feeling like the Hulk on a bad hair day
While it’s true that not everyone wakes up feeling like a bag of sunshine, it’s also not normal to wake up feeling like the world is burning. You know that feeling, it’s like there’s a huge boulder on your chest the very moment you wake up.
You start finding fault in everything and you pretty much curse every time the phone rings. Trust me, I’ve been there. And believe me, at this point, you really need a vacation.
7. Social media makes you depressed
For some reason, doesn’t it feel like all your friends are always travelling and enjoying life while you’re stuck in the office? Chances are, they’re not. It’s just that in your current state of stress, vacation photos stand out more than anything and are more memorable.
It makes you depressed and you might even feel an urge to delete your accounts too. It’s not jealousy, it’s just stress. Because you just know that if you were on a vacation, you’d be posting those same sorts of photos too!
8. You keep having flashbacks about your last vacation
Is there a clearer sign than this? Of course, we tend to feel nostalgic about our previous vacations but if your last trip to Japan is all you daydream about in the office, something’s up.
Basically, if you catch yourself spending more time than necessary browsing through your old Facebook photos, it’s time to create some new memories.
9. Or worse, you can’t REMEMBER your last vacation
That’s pretty self-explanatory, really. If you’ve not had a break for so long that you can’t even remember your last proper vacation, you definitely need time off from work!
10. Having a Big Mac and a whole tub of Baskin Robbins doesn’t help
Since we can’t all just jet across to some pristine getaway any time we want, we find other ways to alleviate our stress. We indulge a little bit, some good food, maybe a beer or two. These tend to always work as pick-me-ups, right?
But when you’re done with you 17th pint of beer and you still feel down in the dumps, it’s definitely time to look into planning a vacation.
11. You engage in unhealthy activities as a new coping mechanism
If you’ve suddenly developed an unexplainable addiction to Netflix or have recently started smoking or excessively eating, it might be because you’re too stressed with work. It’s called developing a coping mechanism.
While it might help you feel better temporarily, in the long run, you’re just developing another unhealthy habit. Instead of buying that extra packet of cigarettes, try going for a short getaway, maybe a short camping trip to try and rejuvenate your mind.
12. You clicked on this link the moment you saw it
Because come on, chances are you clicked on this link because you wanted affirmation that you need a vacation. You probably already knew the answer even before you decided to read this. And there aren’t as many telltale signs as that. -wink-
13. You’re still scrolling even though the last point was an obvious troll
Well, not really, but this one is! It’s time to stop reading if you’ve said “yassss” to most of the points above and time to start planning your vacation!