We all need a break from the office once in a while, so why do us Brits never take our holiday? In a British Airways survey of 2,000 people, they found that one-third of working Brits did not use up their annual leave in 2017, losing an average of four days each, and 69% of Brits did not take a two-week holiday.
Adding to your Pinterest board, and dreaming about the inflatable pool toys available, or losing interest and making mistakes at work, you may need to think about booking a holiday.
Here are eight tell-tale signs letting you know when you need a break:
You Start Making Mistakes
Stress is a well-known cause of workplace errors, and it’s a sign that you may need to take a step back. If you’re in the middle of a project and have been slipping up, finish the project and arrange for some time off. Let your supervisor or client know what is happening and explain that you have fixed your mistake and are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
You Feel Stressed
Despite a survey by PwC claiming that more than a third of the UK workforce is experiencing anxiety, depression or stress, many of us choose not to take a break from work; particularly as many people worry that others will look down on them – especially those in management roles. If you were feeling ill, you wouldn’t hesitate to take a day off; why is it different if your stress levels are sky high?
You Don’t Feel Yourself
Whether you’ve been experiencing backaches, headaches or eye strain, they are all your body’s not-so-subtle way of telling you that you may need some time away from the office. Researchers say that when people find themselves in a stressful situation, their bodies release chemicals that trigger inflammation and increase their sensitivity to pain.
You Don’t Sleep Properly
When you feel anxious or overwhelmed at work, your brain releases stress hormones as a “fight-or-flight” response to stress. It is these particular hormones that may also make it difficult to unwind before going to bed. According to a report by Sleep Zoo, 7 in ten of us sleep fewer than seven hours a night, with a third of us getting only five to six hours.
Mattress Firm surveyed 2,000 millennials and found that a shocking 91% say stress has negatively impacted their sleep routines, and nearly six in ten (59%) say stress causes them to wake up feeling tired. Almost half of us (47%) endure regular stress, with as many as 71% waking up in the middle of the night thinking about current stressors up to three times during a typical working week.
Every Little Thing Becomes Frustrating
Every now and again, we all encounter problems that can get the better of us. It is clear that a positive attitude is key to being successful, so when you begin feeling negative and frustrated in the workplace, it is a tell-tale sign you need a break.
You Begin to Lose Perspective
When feeling under immense pressure, it isn’t uncommon to lose perspective of why you are going to work; this is one of the more serious signs of burnout. If this is you, you may need to take a longer break from the office and re-evaluate whether you are happy in your job. Keep a picture of your family at hand, to remind yourself that you’re working for them, not just your boss.
You Indulge Yourself Regularly “to Make Yourself Feel Better”
When feeling run down, it isn’t uncommon to want to indulge ourselves. If you find yourself deciding to skip the gym, reach for a glass of wine (or two) as soon as you walk in the door and overeat often, they can be signs that you need to take a break – particularly if those little pick-me-up treats leave you feeling worse. To rid yourself of stress, the best thing you can do is exercise. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.
You Wake up Grumpy
What’s the first thing you say upon opening your eyes in the morning? A sure sign that you are in need of a break is when you begin making disapproving noises, such as a grunt or moan. It becomes a more serious problem when you find yourself not laughing as easily as you once did, or you find it harder to ‘find the funny’ in challenging work situations.