Take your days off.
I get it. The mom guilt is real. The work guilt is real. Some of us have lots of days to take off. Some of us have little to no days to take off. The permission to take off and just “be” doesn’t seem to be given, so we put our heads down and we keep at the grind.
But who decided that? Who decided that the grind (whether you work outside the home or stay at home) is what is normal, and that rest and taking off is not? Who said that who we are at our core boils down to what we can do, who we take care of, or what we can produce?
Everywhere I turn, I am overhearing everyone say that they need days off. Everyone I talk to is telling me about the next vacation they are planning on taking, sometimes while they’re on vacation. Moms are grateful that schools are open again so that they can get the couple hours of respite they have been waiting for since March 2020.
And here’s the thing. We are living during a global pandemic and for many of us, it has been the first time where we have been forced to take stock of our energies and figure out how to tread water to survive. Some of us have had to tread water for way longer before the pandemic. All of this has caused a lot of burnout and being overwhelmed at everything, and things feel unsettled. And a lot of us have decided that treading water isn’t worth our time and are leaving the workforce.
What’s worse – the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave, or federal or other holidays.” Doesn’t that seem…insane?
Yes, taking days off from work or life takes planning. Whether in the workplace or in the home, women have the burden of making sure that e v e r y little thing is taken care of before you are out. You have to make sure that your responsibilities are taken care of. You have to make sure someone else is able to step in for you in your absence.
Despite all of these challenges, take your days off. It is worth it. Spend it doing something for yourself. Spend it with your family and reconnect and make new memories. Spend it sitting in your house catching up on your favorite show. Spend it visiting a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Take. it. off.
You are worth every bit of energy and time you take to just be. Take care of yourself, make yourself your priority this year.