How To Fully Disconnect From Work And Actually Enjoy Your Time Off

by Holly Garcia
Originally Published: 

In a world where we work remotely and take our jobs on the go, is it really a surprise that many of us have a difficult time fully disconnecting from work? I mean, you have the ability to email, log in, and have the entire world wide web at your fingertips. Why wouldn’t you want to use all those tools to be more productive?

Well, as it turns out if 2020 was the year of pivoting, 2021 was the year of burnout. And spoiler alert, spinning on this never-ending, constantly changing hamster wheel for the last two years has left us depleted. Hella exhausted on all fronts, y’all. So what is the solution to navigating the holidays and actually relaxing during time off?

Fully disconnecting from work should have no shame, guilt, or what-ifs around it. Of course, as we all know, this is so much easier said than done. To help you get a head start on how to really enjoy your vacation, we rounded up a few things you should do to make a smoother transition.

Fully Disconnecting from Work Can Be Done

Plan and Prepare

The irony that we’re planning in order to get some quality relaxation isn’t lost on us. But just like with anything else in life, the more you’re able to plan and prepare, the better off you will be. This helps with fully disconnecting from work because you won’t worry about whether or not you turned on your out-of-office reply. Say “so long” to wondering if a figurative fire is destroying the office, and say hello to enjoying time off.

Set Boundaries With Your Out-of-Office Message

Be clear in your out-of-office reply. Specify the dates you’ll be out and what constitutes an absolute-last-resort-armageddon-type of emergency. Oh, and don’t forget the forwarding information for the person who will handle said emergency. Because, damn it, it’s not going to be you. Remember — fully disconnecting from work vibes only around here.

Silence Your Phone and Enjoy Nature

Yes, we know it’s tempting to keep your notifications on, but honestly, do you really need to know every time an email hits your inbox? Because it will all likely snowball from there. Just one more email. I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to check in real quick. Don’t open Pandora’s (in)box — just don’t. Instead, bask in nature (snow or not). And enjoy all the glory that is fully disconnecting from work with your loved ones this holiday.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Set and work equipment somewhere where it won’t constantly be taunting you to take a peek. Yes, Newton’s law of motion applies to your work PC too. An object at rest will stay at rest. So keep all your work gear, paperwork, and PC somewhere out of sight so it also stays out of mind. I usually tuck my laptop bag away in the basement because then I’d have to make an effort to go get it, and usually, I prefer to opt out.

Plan Out Your Return

It’s inevitable. Vacation doesn’t last forever, and we all will return to work at some point. So in order to enjoy totally and fully disconnecting from work, make sure you ease yourself back into your day-to-day. For example, don’t schedule any meetings your first day or two back.

Take the time to catch up on emails or voicemails and any serious matters that require your attention. Oh, and don’t forget to drink your water and eat your lunch. Yes, there will be much to catch up on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take at least 20 minutes to nosh on a little something (more power to you if it’s leftover Christmas cookies).

You’ve Earned Time Off, So Please — Enjoy It

Fulling disconnecting from work during the holidays might seem like a given. But with the ability to do so much without having to go into the office it can be tempting to dive in real quick. Whether you work for a company or are an entrepreneur you still deserve time off, but more importantly, you need it. Burnout is a real thing that will not only leave you feeling emotionally drained but can also have serious impacts on your physical and mental health. So please, take time off that you’ve earned and enjoy your holidays to the fullest with those you love the most.

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