Before the pandemic, whenever you took a vacation leave from work, it was usually because you were about to go on a road trip or fly off to a different country. Obviously, that's not exactly the best idea right now, but it doesn't mean you can't take a break. For many, working from home means longer hours and more meetings, which increases the likelihood of job burnout. And you might think, "I'm just at home. I have no where to go. Do I really need to go on a VL." YES!
With your "office" being just a few steps away from your room, it's so hard to disengage. It's like having no boundaries between your professional and personal lives. So it's super important to actively find ways to make sure you aren't just thinking about work 24/7. Below are a few ideas if you want to take a VL and actually feel relaxed.
Tick that "Do Not Disturb" button. It'll be your best friend.
Notifications are the number one enemy of any vacation. If your team is considerate, they wouldn't tag you in any group chat while you're on break, but you can set this online boundary yourself by turning on this feature so you don't need to see incoming messages. We all know it's not entirely realistic to say to not use your phone because picking up your gadgets is sort of like an instinct now. So, please do yourself a favor and look for this feature in all the apps you use for work.
Let yourself sleep in.
This is a tip for anyone who's like me—those who goes neurotic when you don't wake up early even when there's nothing to do for the day. Spend more time on your bed and try not to scroll through your phone the entire time. If you wake up feeling a bit groggy, give yourself permission to go back to sleep!
Find one new thing to love.
Challenge yourself to avoid getting stuck doing your usual weekend routine. Lately, I've been feeling like I've got no actual hobbies. I know I enjoy watching dramas and playing with my dogs, but what else? There's gotta be more, right? So even if it's something that sounds absurd to you or an activity you might not even be good at ('cause who tf says you have to be good at something to enjoy it), try something new. Channel your inner five-year-old and spend an afternoon playing with a hula hoop. Or get a miniature set and build a dollhouse or a music box with your hands.
Go back to reading.
There's probably a stack of books collecting dust in the corner of your room—a couple you've partially read and some you haven't even touched since you brought them home from a book sale. Pick one up, situate yourself in a quiet space (preferably not near your home office), and immerse yourself in another person's story. At least for a few hours, it'll help you forget about the world's problems.
Actually enjoy your meals.
I'm super guilty of rushing through my meals and even eating lunch while working because I feel like there aren't enough hours in a day. It also doesn't help that my "office" at home is our dining table. But the last time I took a vacation leave, I made sure my laptop stayed in my room, and I had a proper brunch with my parents. We spent an hour eating slower than usual and talking about random things.
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.