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If You Need Time Off, Take It

Being a workaholic will hurt you in the long run.

Here’s an interesting statistic for you: according to a study conducted in 2018 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average full-time employed American earned 23 paid vacation days, but only used 17 of them. Now, maybe I’m just eager to not work any opportunity I get, but I genuinely can’t fathom the idea of not using paid time off. Those days don’t accumulate, they expire. If you have the option to not work a day and still get paid, why the heck wouldn’t you take it?

There are a few potential mindsets that could lead to something like this. Looking at it with an idealized lens, maybe someone just really enjoys their job, and genuinely prefers to spend their time doing it. Okay, fair enough, but looking at it a little more realistically, a lot of workers are under the impression that using paid vacation days is a sign of weakness. Supposedly, if you’re not working your absolute hardest 24/7, you’ll never get anywhere in your job. There may be some companies out there that play games with their employees like that, though anyone who works for a company like that probably has bigger problems to worry about. Most companies that offer paid time off, however, genuinely expect you to use it when you need it.

Paid time off exists for those times in life where you really, really need to not think about work for a few days, and can safely do that without endangering your livelihood. Even if you genuinely enjoy your job, it’s not healthy to invest your entire cache of time and energy in it all the time. No one will think any less of you for prioritizing your mental health, and like I said before, if you can get paid to do literally nothing for a day, there’s basically no downside.

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