I can’t believe that January is nearly over! I was on vacation for the first two weeks of the month and, as much as it felt weird to be away from the hustle and bustle for the first couple of days, I eased into the easy-going way of life pretty quickly. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post.
Take your time.
And by that I mean your vacation time.
Take as much of it as you possibly can (in fact, all) and if for some reason you can’t help but have some roll over to the next day – make sure you take it all the next year. I wish I had some wonderful platitudes about life passing by so quickly and slowing down, blah blah blah (those are all true), but you need to take your vacation time because you will be a better lawyer if you stop and rest every once in awhile.
The people who burn out are the people who go go go, non stop, pedal to the floor and then look up five years later and have no idea how they got to where they are and become overwhelmed with the thought of continuing in the same vein for the next 30 to 40 years. I mean, wouldn’t we all get pretty bummed out if that was the only option?
Personally, it had been far too long since I had been on a real vacation. My family lives in the U.S. and we visit them a couple times a year, which is always nice, but let’s be real – it’s not a vacation. It’s trying to cram nine months of memories into 5 or 6 days. I had honestly forgotten what it was like to just be….away.
It was wonderful.
When I got back and started work (remind me to tell you about my new job!), I was so relaxed and refreshed and ready to make an impact. To help people. To learn. To take on my new role with vim and vigor. I’m not lying when I say that work actually feels different. Undoubtedly, some of it is the new job smell that has yet to wear off, but I had a really stressful fall filled with job searching and uncertainty. I think that if I had gone straight from that period into a new job, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to essentially hit the reset button on stress and anxiety.
Starting a new job brings its own stresses and if I had not taken a break, my mind would have already been close to full. But, after the break, I wasn’t already maxed out on stress. I am able to deal with the relatively minor stresses of being the new kid on the block and keep perspective on what’s really important.
I know it can be very difficult sometimes to let go of the stress and anxiety because when you’ve been hyper-vigilant for so long, it can be very difficult to let go. Even when it feels bad, it’s the familiar thing so you hold on as tight as you can. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Take your vacation time. Be kind to yourself. You’ll be a better lawyer for it.