If you struggle to stop working during your time off, you might not be a workaholic on vacation but, you might have some key things in common with them.
We usually think of a vacation as a period of rest that everyone needs and fantasizes about. However, many people experience a greater or lesser degree of anxiety at the thought of requesting, arranging, and going on a vacation that goes beyond taking a day or two off.
Imagine how hard it is for a workaholic on vacation, despite not having such a serious psychological health problem, they find it difficult to leave their work for a few days.
Indeed, it is paradoxical, but people are like that: we have contradictory needs, we need to rest but sometimes we are reluctant to turn off the computer and activate our automated emails. There can be many different reasons for this.
When we experience unease at the idea of a vacation, even anxiety or inability to stop working even though we are out of the office, we may have a workaholism problem.
Let’s take a look at six of the most common reasons a workaholic on vacation finds it hard to switch off.
Workaholic on vacation… or almost. Why?
1. Loose ends
I have a hard time going on vacation because I’m afraid of leaving unfinished business. Of course, when we have three or four tasks assigned to us, it is relatively easy to organize our work before our trip. However, it is normal to have different responsibilities and functions and there may be something that slips our mind and generates an unpleasant surprise during our absence or upon our return.
2. I don’t want to miss out on anything
I am afraid that while I am away important things will happen and I will miss them. When things are exciting in our company and our level of involvement and responsibility in them has been high, we don’t want something important to happen the one time we are away.
3. I don’t know how to switch off
I work so much that I feel uncomfortable when I have so much time off. Sometimes the problem is that we are not used to not working. Our work fills up so much of our time, our internal and external space, that we lack the skills to manage outside of it. That’s why paradoxical as it may seem, the possibility of spending a week or two away, or longer, doesn’t seem appealing, but threatening.
4. My vacation is not going to be as cool as everyone else’s
Yes, social media has done a lot of damage, and the bar for the perfect vacation is, not just high, but unattainable. That’s why, no matter how hard we try to design a plan that suits us when we compare it with what (we think) others are doing, it always comes out flat. Then what seemed like a good vacation ends up turning out to be an unappealing plan that is not so worth undertaking.
5. I don’t even want to think about what the return will be like
It stresses me out to think about the number of things I will have to do when I get back. Usually, we can get everything ready before switching off the computer. The problem comes from thinking about all the things that will pile up in our absence, that no one will manage and what will be waiting for us. The idea of climbing a hellish uphill slope when we return from vacation until we adapt to our rhythm can overshadow our plans.
6. I don’t like my life, I prefer to work
I have so many problems in my personal life that I’m better off working than enjoying my free time. Maybe we don’t enjoy our own company, our family life is in trouble, friends are off doing their own thing and we don’t have much of a budget to escape to the ends of the earth to see what’s going on there… If that’s the case, frankly, staying at work instead of taking that vacation seems like a much better option than getting fully involved in our life outside of the office during our time off.
You may leave some loose ends but surely not the important ones. Maybe your plans are not glitzy if you post them on a social network but, at the end of the day, you’re not making them to post them but to enjoy them, right? And if you don’t like your life or can’t think of anything exciting to do, it’s not the end of the world: just don’t do anything exciting for your vacation. Just stay at home and do things you enjoy, there’s always next year.
However, if your problem is not a mere difficulty but, on second thought, you would join the group of workaholics on vacation, then it is better to go ask for specialized psychological help.
A workaholic on vacation: a nightmare come true
If your case is less serious, the important thing is that, both when you are in the office and when you request time off, you know how to lead a healthy physical and psychological life. If you have any responsibility for it, help your team members to be good at work but learn how to use their time off properly. You guessed it: it’s good for them, but it’s also good for your company.
Not sure how to? That’s fine. Ifeel has created an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by its team of leading psychologists to help companies put employee health at the center of their strategy to boost productivity sustainably.
Thanks to this partnership, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to increase team motivation. For example, to properly balance their time and organize their work in such a way that their vacation is not a problem for them, but the physical and psychological benefit for which it is intended.
In addition, ifeel‘s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on individual needs. This way, employees can access various mental health care tools with ifeel’s app. On level two, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s licensed psychologists. If additional support is needed, they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs
We hope you found this post about being a workaholic on vacation interesting. If you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible. Go on vacation in peace, because that’s what it’s for!
You may also be interested in this post about mental well-being at work.