You probably wouldn?t hesitate to call in sick if you had the flu. But would you take a day off when your stress levels have catapulted into the stratosphere? For many of us, the answer is no. In a 2011 survey of 1,546 people by the American Psychological Association, about one-third of respondents said they typically feel tense or stressed out during their workday. And despite that nearly all of us need an occasional break, many rarely take a vacation day because they worry that others will look down on them, says Paula Davis-Laack, PhD, author of Addicted to Busy. Sky-high stress at work won?t just lead to burnout?it can also bring on stomach issues, trouble sleeping, headaches, and more, according to a 2011 review by researchers from the University of South Florida.
On average, Americans get 14 days of vacation a year, but use only 10 of them. How do you know when you?ve reached a breaking point and it might be time to cash in your chips? Read on for the signs that you and your workplace need a little time off.
Every little problem is turning into a big issue
No one likes fielding other people?s mistakes, but the truth is, you should be able to handle the occasional curveball or two?and your goal should always be to knock it out of the park. A positive attitude is key. ?There are days when you [tackle problems] like a rock star,? says Davis-Laack. ?And that?s a good feeling to have.? Even on days when you?re not feeling very ambitious, you should try to keep the situation in perspective. Sure, legitimate annoyances will always pop up, but ?not everything you deal with is a level-10 problem,? she says. If you?re acting testier toward your co-workers or clients (say, you find yourself thinking, ?Didn?t we just go over that?? or ?Why can?t you understand these directions??), then you?re the one who might be making a mistake?by not taking some time off to recharge.
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