Are you falling prey to the movement right now to not take PTO (paid time off) because you can’t go anywhere exotic this summer? Or you don’t want to “just stay home”? Well, stop that! You’re doing yourself, your family/friends, and your work a disservice. And if you are still finding barriers, I will offer some solutions. Let me explain…
All work and no play makes everyone a very dull person! Not to mention burned out, less creative, tired, and boring. When it comes to spending time on you…you are absolutely worth it! Let me repeat that… you are absolutely worth it.
There are so many things you can do at home with your PTO:
- Read something amazing you’ve been putting off
- Nap or sleep in
- Snuggle and cuddle with people or pets
- Binge watch shows or documentaries you’ve heard about
- Cook exotic foods or splurge on fun food delivery
- Get a massage, a pedicure, a tarot card reading
- Take a different, longer hiking/biking/running route
- Organize, journal, reflect, plan – anything you’ve been putting off
- Create a theme (if you were going to go to Greece this summer, read Greek books, cook Greek food, watch Greek movies, etc.!)
- Do nothing… No plans, appointments, agenda. Be a guilt-free slug.
Quality Time Much?
When was the last time you hung out with your partner, kids, parents, friends, or pets without your cell phone right next to you? How meaningful would it be for those most important to you to have your undivided time, love and attention? This is when memories are made! In five, 10, 25 years, will you remember the clients you landed or not? The articles you wrote or not? The presentations you aced or flubbed? Probably not.
However, will you remember in five, 10, 25 years having game nights with friends and family? Randomly roasting marshmallows in the back yard? The day trips you took into nature? The books you read that inspired you? I bet you will. So how about using PTO to create more space to make these longer lasting memories?
Great for Companies and Balance Sheets
Slogging through workdays for months on end may be a detriment to you and your company. Are you bringing your best, creative, innovative, energized self to work each day? Whether you’re working in person or remotely, your company is probably counting on you to show up fully each day. Are you still sustaining that high level of output after months without a break? Think how much more you can bring to the table if you take time to rest, reflect, create, get a change of scenery, etc. It could be what leads you to a major breakthrough at work, in your relationships, or in life in general.
If you have a PTO plan that rolls over year to year, and your plan is to just keep rolling the maximum amount of days over, that creates a large liability on the books for your company. Most companies provide PTO in the hopes that you’ll take time to rest and refresh throughout the year in any manner you see fit instead of hoarding the days. By rolling these days over year to year, money is tied up in PTO programs that could be expensed sooner to improve cash flow.
Barriers and Solutions
- You’re self-employed and don’t get PTO –> Intentionally block out time on your calendar to wrap up early and do something for yourself
- You have kids and staying home is not a vacation –> Plan to do something fun when they nap or set up family or friends to babysit younger kids; assign older kids tasks to free you up to focus on you; get outside with them – nature is great for all
- Your cash flow is currently tight so you don’t want to travel –> See above for great ideas to do at home or around your neighborhood
- It sounds boring or you’re not comfortable venturing far from home –> See above to plan a themed day or weekend
- No one else is taking staycations from work –> Be a trend-setter, especially if you’re a leader; lead by example that you can’t pour from an empty cup
What Staycation or Self-Care Strategies Are You Using?
I’d love to know and learn from you! Drop a comment below.