One month of summer left: If you can, take a vacation

If you want to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine, there’s only one month until we reach fall, so maybe it’s time to take a vacation if you can.

While an overseas vacation or trip to a favorite destination might be on hold now during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that a vacation from work allows the body and mind to rest. It allows us to pursue other activities and think about things unrelated to our jobs and careers. We can focus on our family, share laughter with friends, and devote energy toward our communities. And we can prioritize self-care. Studies show that taking time off reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, and fatigue.

In addition to the many benefits to our physical, emotional and mental health, taking a vacation from work actually contributes to being engaged at work. One definition of stress is that constant feeling that you should be doing something other than what you are currently doing. The solution? Work when you’re at work, enjoy your kids and family when you’re with them, and recognize when you need a break or vacation. When you’re on vacation, focus on your vacation, knowing that your colleagues can handle the work while you truly rest.

So if your vacation to Italy is now on hold, consider exploring Woodinville’s wineries – safely of course. If hiking in Kauai got canceled, perhaps instead enjoy a hike in the Olympic National Park. There is no packing involved, no airport lines to stand in, and only minor actual traveling.

Staying close to home might be just the vacation you need. The Pacific Northwest provides so many ways to rest, relax, and explore. Pick a new neighborhood to discover, a new or engaging hobby to pursue, or a beloved vista to visit again. Alternatively, vacation at home, perhaps catching up with a good book (if you’re seeking inspiration, the 2020 Booker Prize longlist has just been announced), going for long walks, relaxing in the garden, or sleeping in late.

Then we’ll see you back at work.

Got questions about vacation leave? Talk to your supervisor or department’s Human Resources Manager (employee access only).