Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who wants a vacation?


Do you take all your time off?  I didn't used to and it was a huge mistake.

 A recent survey revealed that for most American employees, eleven vacation days a year are left unused, and almost a third of employees are "too afraid to ask for vacation" in a time of high unemployment and job insecurity, according to the Daily Mail.  The survey also revealed that not taking vacation days resulted in anger problems among staffers.

A lot of people ask me how I manage several jobs at once.  In fact, it seems to be a focus of what people ask me  about most. I will say that I do better with several jobs and all my vacation time than I did with one job and little to no vacation time.

The reasons I didn't take vacation in the past were noble.  I meant well and even spiritualized it.  But, it actually worked against me, not for me.  It's important to take all of your time off, particularly if you're a pastor -- I encourage you to  take every bit of time coming to you, because it only makes things better for you and for the church.  I used to be convinced that the more time I took off, the worse the church would be but actually I've come to see the opposite is true.

In her article, Stress Management:  Signs You Need a Vacation, Ntathu Allen, The Yoga For Stress Management Consultant shares the following:

  Five Signs You Need A Vacation
1. You regularly suffer from headaches, sore shoulders, back ache and neck pain.
2. You are unable to concentrate at work and find yourself working longer hours. You take work home and feel resentful at the impact this has on your relationships at home.
3. You are always tired, drained and lack energy. It takes you twice as long to get up and going. It feels like you have lost your mojo.
4. You are always snappy and ratty with your family and at work become moody and irritable with colleagues.
5. Your heart rate is higher than normal. You often hold your breath without realizing and your blood pressure is raised.
When I begin to see any or all of these signs, I know it's time.  My goal is to avoid having these five happen by regularly taking my day off (Friday).  Vacation time does need to be used up, but I notice even with vacation time utilized, I'll start having the above symptoms if I don't take my day off each week. 

With that said, the church is in capable hands and I'm very glad to be away this week.  Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me.

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