If you’ve been working from home during the shutdown, the past eight weeks have probably felt twice as busy and stressful as usual. After all, you’ve had the difficult task of staying productive while learning new tools, figuring out how to communicate with remote coworkers, trying to balance productivity and parenting (not to mention homeschooling), and keeping a household running when everyday tasks like buying groceries are much more complicated than usual—plus all of the anxiety associated with living during a global pandemic.
Which means it might be time to take a holiday.
As Kenadi Silcox explains at Money.com, if you’re working the kind of job where you have the ability to request a long weekend, it’s worth taking one—even if you won’t be leaving home.
Think of a regular holiday you’d take. When you splay out on the beach or read by the pool, the intention is to relax. A day off at home might not feel the same, but if you’ve spent the last few weeks working overtime, putting aside some time to just veg out in front of the TV isn’t a bad idea.
If vegging out in front of the TV isn’t your thing, use the warm weather as an excuse to spend an entire day outside, exploring parks or trails or whatever’s a safe distance away (both from your home and from other people).
Silcox also suggests framing your PTO request not as a holiday per se but as more of a mental health day. If your boss is the kind of person who will understand that what you want more than anything is a day with no plans or obligations in it, the kind of day where you (and everyone else in your household) can rest both your minds and your bodies, you might be able to swing a Friday or Monday off. Remember, even a tiny break from routine—and from work—can help prevent burnout.
If you can’t take time off right now, whether for holiday or mental health purposes, see if you can block off an upcoming weekend day as a “No Plans Day.” Treat it like the holiday/recuperation day you need: A time to rest, read, binge-watch TV shows, go outside and enjoy the sun, play games with your kids or do anything else that’s been on your “if I only had more time” list.
And then go ahead and block off a No Plans Day for next month—because you’ll probably need a break a few weeks from now, too.