UNITED STATES—I know I cannot be the only American, who counts down the days when they have a long overdue vacation that they have been eagerly waiting to arrive. I mean the notion of having a week or for those who are lucky, 2-3 weeks off of work, its unlike anything. Why? It allows you to have a second of peace and moment to just think about anything but work, which is a great thing.

Work has a way of just getting underneath your skin at times, and when the opportunity presents itself for you to decompress from work you take it. Especially if you have been working tirelessly and your body is on the verge of burnout. America, I feel your pain because that is where I am. It is one thing if you’re working one job, it’s another if you’re working two jobs. Yeah, think about that again, two jobs, where you leave one job and you immediately head to the other. Where most people might juggle 9-10 hour days with a single job (some more depending on their place of work and position even longer), with two jobs your work day switches to 13 to 18 hour days.

That is a long day, days where the idea of getting sleep feels like a thing of the past. You try to sleep, but you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night. You might find yourself getting 1 day off during the week and during that day you’re so burnt out no matter what you attempt to do the notion of getting quality rest just does not happen. I talked last week about my battles with insomnia, which only adds to the work stress that I sometimes endure.

With my vacation, I’m planning to get rest, rest that my body physically needs, and my mind desperately needs. This is without a doubt the most important thing for me. On top of that I’m working on a passion project of mine that I’ve placed on the backburner for years and I’m finally getting the opportunity to tackle it without delay. I mean it almost feels foreign that I’m going to be able to do some things that I have not been able to do. Beyond this passion project, I have a dental appointment planned, an eye appointment plan, some family time planned and just time off that I have not seriously had all year and that means the world to me. Why? I’m starting to realize that I have to put me first more. I’m so worried about work and everyone else that I fall to bottom of the totem pole which hurts me in the long run, that’s not good America.

You cannot work nonstop without suffering some sort of burnout at some point as a result. It has taken me a very long time to come to grips with that, but I’ve come to grips with that which is the good thing. “You work to live, not live to work.” That is a saying that I will NEVER forget from my professor as an undergraduate. It resonated with me, it struck a chord that vibrating throughout my veins and I’m starting to put into practice more than ever before.

A year ago I might take 1 vacation a year if that. Now, I’m focusing on at least 3 to 4 a year, and considering one job I receive paid vacations, and the other I don’t it is not rocket science. Take the time off to rejuvenate, do something for me and just to have a moment of inner solace. It may not mean much to most people, but trust me having 7 or 10 or 14 days to one’s self is the best gift you can ask for sometimes. The body has to have rest to recuperate, you need it to decongest and it helps to bring clarity back to life.