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Seven deadly signs you need a vacation

Image courtesy: ©Elnur/

Whoever said, “do a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” is a dirty liar. Even at the world’s most joyful job, every day isn’t sunshine and rainbows. It’s okay to have bad days. What’s not okay is when your weather forecast for work is continuously full of gloom, doom, and a 50% chance of anxiety in the late afternoon.

Earlier in 2019, burnout was officially classified as a work-related medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization, giving credence to what we already intuited – all work and no play really does make Jack a dull boy. Here’s a helpful hint – if you’re already thinking about vacation, it’s time to start planning one. If you’re on the fence about taking time off, these seven deadly signs might mean you need to book an office getaway soon.

1. Responding to a simple email feels like writing a doctoral thesis

When minuscule tasks start to feel like climbing mountains, you should turn on your email’s vacation responder and climb an actual mountain instead. Nothing will remind you how insignificant an email is than standing on top of a peak as monumental as Mount Kilimanjaro, which looms 19,341 feet above the sprawling Tanzanian savannah.

2. You suspect your office chair is plotting your death

Office chairs are low-key serial killers that should come with a Surgeon General’s warning. They may cause chronic back pain, obesity, high blood pressure, and lead to heart disease. Even though scientists dubbed sitting the new smoking years ago, the average office person still sits 15 hours per day. After your desk chair’s homicide attempt, treat yourself to a trip where sitting is the last thing you do. Find some inner peace at a yoga retreat in Rishikesh, or get your blood flowing by hiking the Western Ghats. With all that exercise, you may long for your lethal chair once more.

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3. You won the superlative “Most Likely to Bring Negativity to the Workplace”

If you’re regularly bringing a twister of negativity to the office, consider taking a week off in Finland to weather the storm. According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, Finland is the world’s happiest country, meaning the Finns have plenty of joy to share. Take this joy back to your co-workers. Spreading cynicism becomes an inescapable cycle; sharing gratitude sparks the equal and opposite reaction.

4. Your laptop and smartphone are the annoying co-workers you never wanted

If the incessant pings on your technological devices divert your attention, it’s time to step away from the screens. Every time your focus is interrupted by technology, you pay a switch cost that disrupts the brain’s cognitive processes. Each interruption only accounts for a few tenths of a second, but these add up. By the end of the day, switch costs can amount to 40% of your brain’s productivity.
On top of that, smartphone usage spikes the stress hormone cortisol in the brain. The shepherds who graze livestock in the Celestial Mountains of Kyrgyzstan aren’t working with a 5G connection. Join them in their yurts and put your smartphone on silent.

Set out on a hiking trip solo or with a group of friends
Set out on a hiking trip solo or with a group of friends
Image courtesy: ©everst/

5. The bags under your eyes are so big you have to check them at the airport

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of workers getting an inadequate amount of sleep rose from 30.9% to 35.6%. Nearly one-third of millennials attribute this lack of shut-eye to their never-ending to-do lists and an insufficient time to accomplish tasks. If you’re too stressed to sleep and too tired to get anything done, an all-inclusive luxury resort is calling your name. Check out Rondon Ridge, an eco-friendly option in Papua New Guinea. You’ll rest easy knowing everything is already taken care of – including the environment.

6. If unused vacation days were money, you’d be a millionaire

According to a survey, Indians are among the most vacation deprived people worldwide. Already the vacation days are not many in number for employees, of which a major portion goes wasted in India. No one gets souvenirs for lost personal days, but if you take a three-week backpacking trip through some iconic cities, you can bring home as many souvenirs as your luggage will allow.

7. All the world’s your workplace

You’re taking conference calls from bathroom stalls. You’re answering emails at your sister’s wedding. You’ve been hitting it so hard that your friends haven’t seen you in months and your family is wondering if they should send out a search party. Even your last vacation devolved into office work. Don’t take a vacation just for the sake of job performance, though. Take a vacation for yourself and the people who love you. There’s no point in working hard if you never get to live a little.

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