Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking Regular Breaks

I know people laugh at me and my propensity to take annual leave frequently, but whilst I do it to feed my travel bug, I frequently talk about the need for regular breaks to my clients, under the guise of self care. All together too many people who land on my caseload with some mental health concerns have truckloads of unused annual leave up their sleeves, and haven't had a holiday in years.

Burnout, emotional exhaustion, stress, depression and anxiety, are all diagnoses that I deal with within my client group, from people who are overworked, who have pushed or are pushed too hard for too long. Usually with many outside-of-work life factors too. Often with a lack of support from their workplaces.

As a traveler who needs little excuse for a trip to the other side of the world, and is one of those people who plans her next trip the second she is back at her work desk and jetlag free from her last one, I really don't get this. We all get a week of leave every 3 months, at a full time work rate - and that's an acknowledgement that it is not healthy to work flat out without a break!

So take it! Get away from the stress and pressure, take some time for yourself. Don't necessarily take it in big chunks like I do (although, can anyone else hear the West Indies calling again??), but ideally take it spread across the year. Do it so you don't end up seeing something like me cos you have hit the wall - hopefully we would be seeing each other with a backpack on, somewhere totally new instead!

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