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Disconnecting from Work and Switching to “Vacation Mode”

Noémie Yacola
Noémie Yacola

For many of us, vacation is coming up and the time has come to figure out how to make sure we get the most out of these precious days. Knowing that vacations are often too short, and eagerly awaited all year, you’re definitely not alone in wanting to take advantage of this precious time. By the way, in writing this, we note that the concept of “time” is very present in our lives where, all too often, productivity reigns. With that being said, how is it possible, after months of life centering around work and the people we work with, to turn things around and let life center around ourselves for a few days or weeks? Leaving behind a daily routine focused on work or school for one that supports freedom, creativity, spontaneity, and moments to yourself is not an easy thing! We have come up with a checklist of things to help facilitate a vacation that feels lighter and further away from your usual worries.

Vacation Mode Checklist

My clients have been informed for several weeks of when and how long my vacation is.
An emergency situation game plan has been laid out for my clients who are experiencing a difficult period.
I have discussed the game plan with the clients it concerns so they know what to do in cases of need during my absence.
My coworkers, colleagues and superiors have known when and how long I will be away for several weeks.
My clients, colleagues and superiors have been warned that I will not be available during my vacation, except in cases of emergency.
My vacation is marked in my work calendar.
An automated response to my emails and a pre-recorded message on my voicemail state that I am on vacation.
My files or important tasks are finished or have been delegated to colleagues.
My reports, my progress notes, and my payment follow ups are up to date.
I don’t have any last-minute meetings planned before leaving for vacation.
If possible, I have planned to meet clients with the problems I find the most difficult several days before I leave for vacation to avoid unexpected events and to keep my schedule lighter for my last day.
I have written down what needs to be done when I come back.
I have planned a lighter schedule for my first two days back to work after vacation to allow myself to ease back into work.
I have planned not to bring my work computer and/or phone with me.
The first day of my vacation I will turn off my work notifications or put my phone in “airplane mode”.

There you go, that was probably your last to-do list before taking some time for yourself! One thing that will really help you to disconnect is realizing that you are not irreplaceable at work (except in certain cases) and making sure to spend quality time doing things that make you feel good.

Noémie Yacola

Candidate au doctorat en psychologie clinique - secteur clinique

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