As a health care professional working in a pharmacy, you know how important it is to manage stress. Yet, you feel guilty taking time off from work. Whatever the reason, you might want to rethink your guilt and give yourself a breather every so often.
Numerous studies have shown that time off relieves work-related stress and reduces the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Results from the Framingham Heart Study (the largest and longest-running study of cardiovascular disease) showed that men who did not take a vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who did take time off. For women, those who took a vacation once every six or more years were nearly eight times more likely to have a heart attack or develop cardiovascular disease than those who vacationed at least twice a year.
Even though it’s known that vacations can decrease burnout and increase productivity, you might be one who takes meager vacations, leaving some of your vacation days unused. Perhaps you think that taking time off makes you look less dedicated to your job or that you’re somehow replaceable. Or maybe you think no one else can do your job while you’re gone.
Whatever the reason, here are some ways to talk yourself into enjoying those vacation days rather than skipping them altogether.
Check in with coworkers
If you’re worried that taking one day off might leave your coworkers in a bind, find out their vacation schedules and plan your vacation during a time when there will be plenty of staff around. If you are unable to get the days off you prefer, ask them if they might switch with you. Just be sure to reciprocate the favor later on.
Donate your extra days
By recognizing that hardships can eat up coworkers’ paid time off, a growing number of employers now allow coworkers to donate accrued vacation days to a general pool that fellow employees can use. There is, however, a general tax law concept that says the employee who earns time off and has the choice to use the time or donate it, is still obligated to pay taxes on it. So, any leave that’s earned by an employee and donated to someone else would be taxable income to both parties. The good news? The Internal Revenue Service allows for exceptions to such things as major disasters and medical emergencies without negative tax consequences to the donor.
Plan your time off early
A scheduled vacation gives employees something to look forward to. So, make your vacation request early. But hold off on purchasing non-refundable tickets until your vacation time has been approved. If you’re the one in charge at your pharmacy, be sure you provide employees with written vacation policies and procedures. The peak work periods when vacations may be prohibited or restricted should be highlighted. Let everyone know ahead of time if there won’t be any time off given during training on a new computer system or a coworker’s maternity leave.
Enjoy a staycation
If you’re unable to take an extravagant vacation to France or a fun-filled week in Disney World, consider using your vacation days on your very own staycation in your hometown! Plan a trip to the water park or a festival with family or friends, go fishing at a nearby lake, go on a bike ride, take a nap, visit local art galleries, or find a nice trail to hike. Just don’t take time off to work on a home project. Save that for weekends. Like a vacation, a staycation should be for relaxation and fun.
Take small breaks
If a week is too long for you to be away from your job, try just a couple of days. Taking a long weekend every few months is just as rejuvenating as a week-long trip. Plus, it might make you feel less guilty for leaving coworkers with a heavier workload.
Don’t miss out on taking days off for yourself each year. Not only is it the healthy thing to do, but you’ll return to your job with a smile and a whole new bounce in your step!
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.