Tip 43: Make Your Vacation A Real Vacation!

21 Jul 2017 12:10 PM | Heather Kaye (Administrator)

Do you feel guilty taking time off? You work for a nonprofit and do important work! But, you still deserve time off and if you don't get it, you are heading straight to a burn out. It's summertime—so take that vacation and make it a real break..

When you feel responsible for saving the world, it’s hard to justify a vacation. But nonprofit employees do deserve a break from the office, to spend time with family and friends, explore new places, and keep burnout at bay.
Rebecca Koenig
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
9 Ways to Ensure your Vacation is Really Time off from Work
  1. Coordinate carefully with others in your office. Plan your vacations around the schedules of the people in your office who can cover for you.
  2. Talk about your vacation early and often. Well in advance of taking time off, start easing colleagues and donors into the idea that you will be out, to avoid any surprises or sense that you’re leaving people unprepared. 
  3. Distinguish between "working vacations" and true escapes. Being willing to communicate with the office during some of your vacations may make your coworkers more willing to respect those occasions on which you want to be left in peace.
  4. Tie up loose ends — and drop what you can. In the weeks before you take your vacation, expect to put in extra time finishing up tasks that can’t wait and don’t try to reschedule everything that you’ll miss.
  5. Communicate what needs to be done in your absence. Let your supervisor and other colleagues know what projects you’re working on and where they stand. Make sure someone is assigned to cover any work you usually do that can’t wait for your return.
  6. Use your vacation as professional development for other staff members. If you’re a manager, think about your vacation as an opportunity for your employees to up their game. Make sure your staff knows what you expect them to accomplish in your absence.
  7. Enforce reasonable boundaries and expectations. Clearly identify when, who and how you can be contacted.
  8. Make a plan for your return. Give yourself a day to catchup and schedule followup meetings before you leave.
  9. Construct your out-of-office messages carefully. Explain in your voice-mail and email notifications when you will be back and which of your coworkers to contact until then.
Time for a Forest Bath?
Spend more time around trees. Wander in the forest. Bath in the full experience of the forest, engage all your senses. Forest bathing has been proven to: lower blood pressure, improve circulation, decrease heart rate, reduce stress hormones, reduce depression, and increase energy. Include a time of sitting—quiet and still. Go untethered—no phones or cameras. If with others refrain from conversation.

Introduction to Forest Therapy and Shinrin Yoku
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