Winter is finally receding into the shadows, but that time in the dark can do all kinds of damage to our ability to perform in the workplace. If you are noticing a drop in motivation and a bleaker outlook on the work days ahead, it might be time for a break. Here are some other signs it’s time to step away from the office and take some time to refresh and recharge.
1) POSITIVE (OR NEUTRAL) FEELINGS ABOUT WORK HAVE TURNED INTO DREAD.
There is probably not a single human in the world who wakes up and feels 100% psyched to go to work every single day of the year. However, the scales tipping toward the complete opposite of this feeling is an indicator that you may need a break. If you have noticed feelings of dread about your 9-5 routine, start making a plan for those vacation days.
2) YOUR SLEEP IS SUFFERING.
Our bodies can tell us so much about what we need. If our sleep is suffering, talk to a doctor to rule out medical issues and then do some investigating into what might be contributing to stress levels during the day. A moment of respite from the daily grind could be just what you need to get your slumber back on track.
3) THE LITTLE THINGS GET TO YOU MORE EASILY.
Flying off the handle at the slightest inconvenience at the office? Increasing frustration and lowered ability to manage in-the-moment anxiety (when, in the past, it didn’t used to be that difficult) can indicate a need for a change. Try stepping away from your work for small 10 minute breaks more often, as a start. If it gets worse, start considering a longer break.
4) YOUR USUAL SELF-CARE ROUTINE HAS STOPPED WORKING.
This is a huge sign that we need to disrupt the current cycle. Our bodies and minds are sending us signals when the things that used to provide us comfort no longer do – tune into those messages and give yourself the time off that you need.
5) YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUFFERING.
Either at home or at the workplace, times of increased stress can make it more difficult to handle interpersonal stuff. If your patience with people is taking a hit, take it as a sign.
6) YOU’RE NOT AS PRODUCTIVE AT WORK ANYMORE.
This is a huge indicator that you need a vacation. Not only will you come back feeling much better, but your productivity (and your employers!) will benefit from the time away, as well. Using vacation days is essential for mental clarity and long-term job satisfaction.
7) YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE THERE’S AN END TO YOUR WORRIES IN SIGHT.
If a big project seems endless (or maybe the bad weather), create your own boundaries with how much you let work affect your well-being. Make an end to the worries over which you have some actual control. Schedule a staycation with the family, book a flight, or plan to drive out to see your relatives for a long weekend – do what it takes to create a dividing line between the impact of stressful work and your wellness.