Do You Feel Guilty Taking a Vacation?
Serious performers often feel conscience-stricken when taking time off, especially as they move up the “ladder.” Suddenly, opportunities to study with master teachers or audition for good roles are possible. At the same time, even show biz has slow periods in the summer where rest, instead of work, helps you return to the fray feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Performers need more—not less—vacation time to be productive. Here’s how to do it right.
1) Even if you are a workaholic, you will benefit from a break as long as you take a chunk of time versus a few long weekends. Experts say people don’t seem to really relax until the second week, so aim for a two-week vacation.
2) Completely shut off from your professional obligations while you’re vacationing. This means turning off your cell phone and avoiding work-related emails as much as possible.
3) Do things that you enjoy. If you’re a Type A personality, you may not be content to loll around on the beach, whereas reading a good book, playing games, hiking and socializing may be quite relaxing Do what’s fun!
4) If money is an issue, consider taking a “staycation” at home, where you vegg out a bit in front of the TV, plan day trips around your community, or check out the local festivals and events. It’s affordable with the added bonus of no jetlag and little to no driving.
5) Get rid of any guilt feelings that might arise be telling yourself that vacations are good for your health, life, and career. Your work may be a badge of honor but taking time off is restorative.
Remember, many performers resist vacations because they feel that work should take precedence over everything in their lives. Yet this approach is counterproductive, leaving you vulnerable to overwork or, even worse, burnout. So give yourself permission to take a much-needed vacation that has implications on both the quality of your life and profession. Pick a slow time at work, plan to take time off after you’ve met your deadlines, and make it happen. You won’t be sorry!