So, I’m currently preparing for a full weeklong vacation to Disney World with my boyfriend and his two teenage daughters. As you might expect, I’m unbelievably excited. I feel like a kid myself as I struggle to fall asleep at night in anticipation.
Only, as an adult, pre-vacation sleep problems are a little more serious. It’s not just excitement keeping me up. It’s also guilt: Should I really be taking a full week away from my work obligations? And it’s fear: What kind of mess will I return to? Will that completely negate the good of a vacation? And it’s stress: There’s so much to do before I go! How will I ever manage??
I’m guessing this sounds familiar. Any professional man or woman who has dared to take so much time off work—for FUN, personal reasons—has likely felt a similar mix of emotions.
And yet, I am dedicated to the mission. I will not give in to my workaholic nature. Every piece of me is screaming, “Let’s postpone this! I can’t leave work for so long…not right now!” But I will silence that horrible saboteur voice, because deep down, I know this vacation is needed.
I think self-care is a wildly underrated component of long-term career success. We often focus on the importance of dedication, hard work, and discipline. But we fail to acknowledge the importance of rest, relaxation and fun. These things might not have such a clear or immediate return-on-investment, but they are essential nonetheless.
The consequences of ignoring self-care are tremendous. I’ve experienced many of them myself, including the ultimate consequence: Burnout. [Read more…]