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You’ve meticulously planned your next vacation. Carefree travel to-and-from your destination; reservation at the perfect vacation home rental; research and tickets for daily adventures and excursions; discovery of the the most delicious places to eat; deals on attractions during your stay; and that most important task, what to bring so you can enjoy every aspect of your vacation.

Before you lock in all your vacation desires though, let’s remove any guilt associated with “taking a vacation.”

In a survey of 2,200 workers by careers website, Glassdoor, it was discovered the average U.S. employee who receives paid vacation has only taken about half (54%) of those days in the last 12 months. The main reason they don’t take all the vacation time due them is fear. They fear getting behind on their work (34%), believe no one else at their company can do the work while they’re out (30%), they are completely dedicated to their company (22%), and they feel they can never be disconnected (21%).

This is not where all the guilt comes from. We worry most about how it might look to others that we’re taking time off. With just a few tips, you can rid yourself of the guilt and set yourself up to enjoy your vacation.

Change Your Perspective

Instead of viewing your vacation as time away from work and/or family & friends, think of it as an opportunity to recharge, refuel and relax. When you return to work and your daily life, you’ll have a full reserve of energy and can give more from a full tank. No more running on fumes. Instead of taking time away, you’re making all of your time count.

Vacation = Stress Management

Stress is America’s #1 health problem. Your vacation is like medicine. Know that your getaway is the perfect prescription for managing your stress. Taking time for yourself allows you to step away from situations causing you stress and gives you the space to rethink how you can handle those things that trigger you.

Focus on “Being on Vacation” Instead of What You’ll Miss

What brings you joy? What makes you happy? Set aside your family and work commitments, at least for a while. Think about the adventures and experiences you’ll have on your vacation. Start to zero in on what you want, not what you’re expected to handle. When you get back home, you’ll be refreshed and more capable of handling anything life throws at you.

Do you deserve it? (based on your own standards)

Have you worked hard? Have you stepped up to the next level? Have you taken on more responsibility? Have you earned some time to recharge? Forget about other people and their judgments. Based on your own standards, do you deserve a vacation? If you feel a little guilty, ramp up your achievements in advance of your vacation. You need to know you deserve this vacation.

Disconnect

A digital-free vacation is a scary thought for many of us. Nowadays, we’re all tethered to our smartphones and are constantly being updated on the latest happenings. Make sure you’re caught up on returning important emails, that you’ve notified everyone in your work sphere that you’ll be away and you’ve assigned others to help out in your absence. If you must check your emails and voicemails while you’re away, pick one or two times a day to check. The rest of the time – enjoy your vacation (from work and everything else).

These 5 tips will serve you well as you approach your departure date. Get in your vacation mindset now so you can enjoy every moment!

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