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BarnacleBill's avatar

Does taking time off from work make you anxious?

Asked by BarnacleBill (16083points) May 13th, 2011

I know this probably sounds crazy. I find taking time off from work to be almost not worth the stress I go through to get ready to take off. In order to prepare for a week’s vacation, I just about do that week’s worth of work before I go. I’ve gotten in the pattern of saving vacation time to use for emergencies for my children when they were younger, and to help move them from place to place as young adults. My manager frowns on people taking two weeks off at once, but I really think that’s what I need in order to relax. Right now, I have 5 weeks in PTO, and will accrue another two weeks by the end of the year. I’m going end up with 3 weeks rolling over to short term disability (uncompensated time if I leave the company.)

I’m taking two days off to do volunteer work, but it really has me anxious, and I’m planning on going in Saturday to finish up something for a project. I don’t really have anyone to delegate work to, and our area is really deadline oriented.

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8 Answers

augustlan's avatar

It never used to, but I did always need an extra day off between a trip and going back to work. If I took a week and went to the beach or something, I’d come back Saturday just so I could have Sunday to decompress before the next work week. I felt what I really needed was a vacation after my vacation.

Now that I work here, and there are so many things that only I can take care of, I do stress when I’m off. I can’t really do any work in advance to prepare, though, since this is a really responsive type of job. Aside from writing for the blog, pretty much everything we do is as it comes along. So, I just send a million emails, making sure everyone remembers I’m going to be off and that everyone has my phone number, just in case. (Probably driving everyone crazy in the process.) Honestly, I don’t know what I think is going to happen if I’m not here… all of the mods are great! I recently took a week off for a ‘staycation’, fully prepared to check in everyday to handle anything the other mods couldn’t. I thought I’d just pop in for a minute here and there, but I ended up working on regular mod stuff by accident, every single day! I think I might be addicted. :p

Cruiser's avatar

Yes…..for about 10 minutes and once I am in the car heading to wherever I am going….life is good!

woodcutter's avatar

My situation lets me work whenever I want and take off whenever. Sometimes I just want to do something else instead of that job and completely blow it off. And I sometimes worry about getting my schedule too packed up because of that decision. It does kind of gnaw at me a little because I’m not really irresponsible but sometimes there is an opportunity to do something I want and I do it.

Kayak8's avatar

I have the same problem. When I recently had to take time off for a health concern (ankle), I was edgy for the first few days until I accepted that my time off was approved so anyone could be as mad as they wanted to be—it didn’t matter. I ended up being off for 6 weeks and the beginning of each week was challenging but by Thursday I was usually good with it.

marinelife's avatar

Not me, but my husband used to (he has been working on it). It all started when his family took a vacation as a child, and when they got home his parents told him and his brother that they were moving (from New England to the South).

Then when he was in his 20s, he took a vacation, and when he came back he was told that the boss had dismantled the project he had been working on.

So the thought of taking a vacation was very stressful for him.

@BarnacleBill It sounds to me like you are deeply and habitually stressed from work. You could not decompress in a week. What about taking two or three weeks off? Just grit your teeth and do it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I used to, but once I got laid off from a job without so much as a by-your-leave, even though I busted my arse and bent over for that company, I realized that I can put my entire self into a job, worry how things are going to get done, fear that something will become a disaster in my absence, etc., but none of those feelings reflect reality. And in the end, it’s just a job. It’s other people who build this stuff up to be as important as it is, there’s nothing going on that’s inherently so important, this stuff at “work”.

I can’t tell you how to not feel anxious about these things, but for me, coming to the realization that it’s all so much “whatever”, has really lessened my anxiety about what does and doesn’t get done. So now, when I’m working, I do indeed do my best on that job, but a part of me is detached from the proceedings enough to know that it’s just a job. I’m not Prometheus holding up the world because I’m booking a sound guy. Somehow, what needs to get done will get done, regardless.

downtide's avatar

If I’m taking scheduled leave it doesn’t bother me at all. Work doesn;t build up for me, waiting for me to get back; anyone in the department can deal with anyone else’s workload.

Taking time off sick worries me though, because I’m never sure if the next time will be one time too many.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When I was in a job where there were deadlines, I learned to schedule time off well in advance, so it could be built into the work schedule. I also learned that I could ask several reliable co-workers to cover certain tasks that weren’t normally their responsibility. I’ve had a few do the same, and it made me feel good that they trusted me with the task. Vacations soon went from checking e- and v-mail every day to just checking the cell phone once or twice a day to see if anyone called.

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