I Needed A Moment...
...And You Probably Do Too
Sometimes you just need a moment to regroup, and I needed that moment. I overestimated my ability to take on something new this spring, and while I don’t regret it, I didn’t realize the amount of time and bandwidth I needed starting Evergreen Consulting. So, after pushing and pushing in to mental exhaustion, I did what I tell other people to do and took some time to spend with my family and recharge. We’ve hiked, visited family members, taken vacations, went out on camping/float trips and much more. It has been a fantastic way to spend the hot summer.
The thing is, when I decided that I needed a moment, I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I wasn’t the person that could do it all anymore, I was stressed out and didn’t have a moment to spend outside of work and EC. There is no reason I should have felt that way, and no one was pushing me to think I needed to feel that way. It was my internal narrative telling me I wasn’t strong enough and that I was failing. But I wasn’t, I was just tired and there is nothing wrong with that.
More than half of Americans that receive some type of vacation, left vacation time on the table (52% of Americans) according to Project Time Off and their study on the State of American Vacation in 2018. While this is down from 54% in 2016, it still amounted to 705 million unused days. You read that correctly…according to this same study, while the percentage of Americans that left vacation time on the table decreased, the amount of time actually increased (662 million days in 2016 left unused).
In the past, there has been a negative perception of taking all of the vacation time you are given because you can be perceived as “not working hard” or "slacking". Luckily, we are starting to see that change with the benefits and cultural shifts in large and small companies. This will not only improve employee’s productivity, mental health and morale it will also help create jobs, believe it or not.
“The more than 700 million days that go unused represent a $255 billion opportunity that the American economy is not capturing. Had Americans used that vacation time, the activity could have generated 1.9 million jobs.” – State of American Vacation in 2018.
So don’t just take vacation for yourself and your family, do it for the country! If you haven’t downloaded the study that is referenced above, I highly recommend it. There is so much more information in this study, and I could have created a long post about it…but…I’m still in my moment with my family.