If you feel as though you’re ready for a vacation, listen to your body. You likely do need a vacation, and for some, that may require total disconnection. Disconnect from email, delegate projects and tasks to colleagues to ensure you can actually check out, and dedicate time off to pursuits that revitalize and re-invigorate you. Here are some helpful holiday tips:

If you can’t go on an actual holiday (which, let’s face it, none of us really can), try creating a relaxation itinerary for yourself, and stick to it. Choose a couple of books you’ve been wanting to read, a couple of movies that appeal to you, and choose a few local attractions, museums, beaches, or local resort towns to visit. Book a massage, get your nails done, practice yoga or deep breathing, take a daily walk with the dog, or explore nature in some of Manitoba’s beautiful parks. If you pre-arrange some outings to look forward to, you’ll may be more likely to make the most of your time off and feel like it was a change of pace. For a real break, turn off the news, restrict your volume of COVID-19 coverage, and unplug from social media.

When you’re preparing to take a vacation (whether from the workplace, or you’re simply closing a laptop in the home office), get prepared. Create a vacation task list for your co-workers so there aren’t any surprises, assign or request support from others for key projects, and let colleagues and outside contacts know that you’ll be away, and who to reach out to in your absence.

Put on an out of office email and update voicemail with the date of your return, and what to do in the case of an urgent matter. It’s important to step back from work to recharge, and  studies have shown that those who take their vacation time are more likely to advance at work.

If you feel compelled to check work email or voicemail, pick ONE set time each day, and blow through it quickly to triage it. If this helps you to feel more in control, so be it, but quickly assess and delegate, rather than manage the work. The night before you’re due to go back after vacation, check your email and voicemail to help you start the next morning without feeling overwhelmed.

Finally, remember that others’ priorities shouldn’t become yours the moment you’re back online. Try to take it easy the first couple of days, create a prioritized to-do list, and meet with your team to get an update on what you missed while you were away.

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