Take a break, its OK.

Summertime, typically, marks the beginning of vacation time for most people.

For the majority of people, this is something they do each year and usually have a favorite place to visit and do so without any guilt or regret.

For others, it might be difficult to go on vacation or even give themselves permission to take a short break from work. Perhaps there is guilt attached to work responsibilities, or it is the financial aspect that scares them.Regret around spending money on a trip when they could have paid some bills or saved it for a rainy day. Not wanting to burden co-workers with your responsibilities, or making the people you work with go without service for a week or two. 

I am one of those who has had a hard time taking vacations or taking long vacations due to work and guilt. Even taking a day off or calling in sick is still a challenge for me. For most of my working life, I have put my head down and worked hard so my family did not have to go without. Often, that meant not going on vacations while the rest of the family did. Barely a day off unless I was seriously ill. Even then, I would still try to go to work.

Over the last few years, I have begun to give myself a break and take time for family vacations and not worry about the work aspect and the feelings that come with it. The work will be done and the business can operate without me no matter how important I think I am. 

By allowing myself to have the freedom from the guilt and stress related to “return to work” workload, I have been able to enjoy these vacations and I am finding that it is not as stressful as I once perceived it to be. And by “turning off” work for a week or two has been incredibly beneficial to my overall wellness. Taking a step away from the day-to-day operations, the people, and the environment is one of the best self-care practices one can have. Preventing burnout, and exhaustion are common in the social work field. We need to take care of ourselves so we can be there for others. 

Revitalize, rejuvenate, and relax so that you can come back and still enjoy the work you do. 

By Kurt Stapleton

Photo taken by Kurt Stapleton at Naples Beach, Fl 2023.