As a corporate wellness consultant and a partner at a fast-paced personal injury law firm, I understand firsthand how complicated it can be to leave work behind when you go on vacation. Leaving clients in the middle of a case or asking colleagues to help cover work items can elicit guilt or worry about losing control of the work. These are legitimate fears that stem from having high expectations about our productivity. So, when the time comes to drop everything and fly off on vacation, how do we unplug and take a “real” vacation from work without guilt or worry?

Set Plans in Place

Whether you will be out of the office for two days or two weeks, set the following plans in place. 

  • Communicate with your colleagues and clients about your absence. Supply plans and instructions to anyone who is covering your work.
  • Establish clear boundaries with clients and coworkers about your availability and what type of urgency will constitute an “emergency” call or email.
  • Commit to unplugging by turning off work email notifications and texts.
  • Give yourself permission to relax. Use this time away to enjoy the moment, the place you are at, and the company you are with.

Want more tips on how to take a “real” vacation from work?

The Mental Health and Wellness Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) is hosting a one-hour Zoom webinar on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, to share planning strategies for professionals who wish to step away from work to relax and refresh and recharge this summer without undue stress.

A panel of professionals, including me, will provide tips and advice to help you get away without the guilt. 

The webinar is available to ABA members ($25) and non-members ($35). To register for a spot, click here.

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