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  • What Your Vacation Can Tell You If You’re Paying Attention


    Many people say that rather than spend all your time dreaming about getting away from work on vacation, you need to find a job that you don’t need a vacation from. I can’t argue with that. Just to be clear, they’re not saying you should NOT take vacations, they’re simply saying that you shouldn’t hate your job so much that you NEED to get away from it.

    I mean, vacations definitely have their worth. Absolutely. They allow us to see and do things that don’t fit into our normal workday schedule, things which can bring us great joy. They can allow us to meet a wide variety of people and experience a wide array of cultures, which increases our compassion and empathy, which leads to a greater understanding of others, which can lead to better stress management in the long run.

    Vacation Is All That And More

    Vacation can do much more than bring you wonderful experiences, however. It can also tell you a lot about your regular, day to day work life if you’re willing to listen to what it has to say.

    Here are a few things that you may want to pay attention to:

    • Physical pain or symptoms disappear during vacation but return when you go back to work. Stress can do some weird sh*t. Seriously. If this happens every single time you go on vacation, I honestly don’t know why you aren’t sending out your resumé in bulk. Seriously. I see this ALL the time. I can only help you maintain your current level of dysfunction if your job stress is what’s causing your pain.
    • Anxiety or depression lessens or goes away entirely when you’re on vacation. Uuummm… you do realize that this a huge sign that something needs to change. It doesn’t just mean that vacation is wonderful, it means that work is stressing you out of your mind. Literally.
    • Dread at the mere thought of returning to work. This isn’t the same thing as wanting vacation to continue. It’s actual dread, probably accompanied by some anxiety or depression. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is not good. It’s your body and mind’s way of telling you exactly what they think of your job/boss/working conditions/etc.. Listen to them.
    • You get sick when it’s time to go back to work. Stress lowers your immunity. Provided you didn’t catch something on the plane (aka flying germ factory), this is an indicator of the stress response your body is having to the mere thought of going back to your job.
    • You sleep extra long at night or nap during much of your vacation’s downtime (especially if you’re not a napper) –  It’s very likely that you work too hard or too long. It’s also possible that your job is so stressful that it interferes with your sleep.

    I know what it’s like to be in a job that makes you sick. Been there. Done that. Burned the t-shirt. It was only after leaving the worst of those jobs that I realized just how bad things had been. I also realized how many of my health problems had been stress related. Hint: it was ALL of them.

    What sorts of problems has work stress caused for you? Let me know in the comments below.

    If you job stresses you out or you know someone who is stressed out by their job, please share this using the handy share buttons just below this post.