With the holidays in full swing, business is not as usual. Companies are wrapping up the year with office parties, airports are abuzz with homeward bound travelers and most 9 to 5’ers have at least two days off this week. What better time to slap an “away” auto-reply on your email, close your laptop and unplug completely for a few days?
Disconnecting entirely from work is a great idea (and one that is founded on solid clinical research), but it’s a tough one to actualize, even during the mighty Yuletide. New data from LinkedIn found that 53 percent of employees don’t fully disconnect from work when they are out of office during the holidays, and that 30 percent of workers check in while out of the office.
Ever since becoming my own boss, I’ve struggled to take an entire day (let alone a whole weekend) off without checking email or fretting about all the mountain of work awaiting me when the holidays are over. I admit that I am something of a workaholic, but I also like it this way. I actually don’t want to totally disconnect because, truth be told: I feel more anxious when I do.
I talked to a number of professionals who are in similar positions of wanting to take a break without feeling that it’s always possible to unplug completely for days at a time. These are their holiday life hacks for how to sorta-kinda-almost disconnect, along with insights from mental health clinicians on how to protect your off time and quell any work-related anxieties.