A Guide on How to Take a Break From Work (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It can helpful to take a break from work, its routines and responsibilities to relieve stress and achieve a healthy work-life balance. There are a variety of reasons why you might want to take some time off, so it's crucial to understand more about the benefits of taking breaks from working. In this article, we discuss how to take a break from work, review what are the types of breaks you can take and look at what are the signs indicating you need a break.

How to take a break from work

Discussed below are some steps on how to take a break from work:

1. Consider the length of your break

The length of your break highly depends on a variety of personal and professional circumstances. Certain protocols may be in place at your employer for employees taking breaks. The length of your leave depends on the company's regulations. Certain firms perceive breaks to be advantageous to foster a positive workplace culture. A break can provide people with the work-life balance they require to be productive. If a break isn't an option for you, and you're thinking of retiring, preparing ahead of time might assist you both financially and professionally.

Thinking ahead on what you want to do during your vacation and how much time it would take can help you with the process. Providing employers with the details and dates may help you assimilate into your work when you reach the end of your break. Obtaining comments from coworkers might help you decide on the most suitable time for your leave.

2. Review your personal finances

You may want to save more money before taking a break, so you don't worry about money while you're trying to relax. How much you choose to save depends on a variety of factors, including your present wage, the length of time you plan to be out of work and how much you require to pay your bills and other obligations. It's frequently a good idea to save more than you think you may need, in case you take longer than expected to return to work.

3. Make a plan

When taking a break, it's a good idea to plan out the specifics of the break, such as what you may be doing and for how long. An agenda can help you organise your plans and determine how much money you save. For example, you may make a list of places you'd want to go, figure out how much money you may need, find someone to care for your pets while you're away and make a travel plan.

4. Be aware of your challenges

It's important to remain aware of any challenges you may experience in this process to help you address them. This might include financial concerns, concerns about how it would influence your job or domestic duties. Once you identify your challenges, you can create a plan to resolve each one. This can help you enjoy your time away from work more fully.

5. Inform management of your break

When you plan your break and have a timetable in mind for when you want your break to begin and end, you may discuss your plans with the management. This way, the company can prepare for your break and address any concerns that may arise. To prepare for this step, you can review your organisation's policies for time off to ensure your plans align with the company's rules.

Related: How To Write a Leave Application Email (With Example)

Types of breaks you can take

You may consider the following options for taking some time off work:

Vacation

A staycation is a type of vacation in which individuals take time off work but stay within the country. This option is a popular choice among individuals who have a desire for a holiday but limited resources to take a trip. You may decide to use your vacation time to explore attractions in your city during a staycation. Alternatively, you can spend your vacation at home, completing chores and spending time with family. During a staycation, you may turn off your phone and ignore emails to take a break from work.

A playcation is a great way to stay at home and enjoy your time. The distinction between a staycation and a playcation is that staycations put an emphasis on rest and relaxation, whereas playcations focus on having fun. You may take a playcation for many days or simply include some fun activities daily.

Related: 15 Out of Office Messages for Professionals

Short breaks

You may take short breaks throughout the day to increase productivity and avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you only need a five-minute break, ride your bike, go for a walk, watch a movie or meditate. Spending time outside and engaging in physical activity can also be effective stress relievers. Incorporating these into your brief break, such as going for a walk around the neighbourhood, may help you get more value for money because they may not require you to take days off.

Related: How to Deal With the Stress of Losing Your Job

Bereavement leave

Bereavement is the phase of sadness and loss that individuals might experience when they lose someone close to them. Bereavement leave is an employer-provided policy that allows an individual to take time off after the loss of a family member or loved one.

Bereavement rules differ from one workplace to the next. Bereavement leave may qualify as paid leave in some scenarios, but it may also be unpaid in others. Be certain that you understand the leave policy at your organisation and make clarifications if needed.

Related: What Is Bereavement Leave? And How To Ask For It

Sabbatical break

A sabbatical is a period of time when an employer excuses an individual from their professional tasks. Sabbaticals can be any length of time as agreeable by the employee and company, but they're generally longer than ordinary employee vacations. They may also be paid or unpaid, depending on the policies of the firm. Employees can utilise sabbaticals to participate in activities that they would be unable to perform regularly. Among these activities are volunteering, travelling, researching and pursuing further education.

Signs indicating you need a break

Sometimes it's evident that you need a break. Because everyone reacts to stress differently, the indicators of being overwhelmed may be unique. If you understand how to recognise the signs that you need a break, you can arrange some time away that can help you feel more refreshed. There are certain broad warning indications that apply in most situations.

If you're suffering one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to start making plans for a break. This might be a full-fledged vacation or a weekend break to rest fully and gain your strength and energy back. Listed below are some indicators that you may need some time off due to stress:

  • alterations in eating habits

  • work cynicism

  • difficulty concentrating

  • getting ill more frequently, a lack of energy and a lack of motivation

  • frustration and a bad mood

  • a sense of disorientation

  • workplace performance issues

  • sleep disruptions

  • withdrawal from family, friends or coworkers

If you're not feeling enthusiastic, thrilled, creative, driven and completely involved at work and in your relationships, you may benefit from a vacation. It can be a good idea to handle stress with breaks from work before it becomes overwhelming. Vacations, regular self-care and mental health days can help you stay at your peak performance.

Related: Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

Advantages of taking a break

More than offering the benefits of relaxation, taking a break may also improve your work performance. By knowing when to take a break, you can be more productive and avoid burnout. Taking a break may also help you reduce your stress levels.

While it may require some planning, the rewards to your health and well-being can be worth the work it takes to plan time away from work. Holidays and even shorter breaks like taking an afternoon off may be quite beneficial. Some advantages of taking a break may include:

  • Reduced stress: When you're away from your professional challenges, you may feel less stressed. Taking some time off can allow you to relieve your stress.

  • Feeling rested: Taking a break may allow you to feel more rested because you can focus on other aspects of your life, like hobbies.

  • Increased productivity: Taking some time off can help you do a better job and be more efficient at work.

Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

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