A few years ago, an exchange student from Germany came to live with my family. She was great—very fun and smart. She’s since left and returned to her native country, but we’ve stayed in touch over the years.
One thing that has always fascinated me was the fact that her family would “holiday” for weeks at a time during the summer. This model of “rest and relaxation” is so much different than it is in the United States. The culture in this country is if you aren’t in the office constantly getting “face time,” then you simply aren’t a productive employee.
I recently conducted a little research supporting the theory that working excessive hours doesn’t guarantee happier and more productive employees. Click here to see some of my supporting data.
Summer can be TOUGH on families. Not only do you have to coordinate logistics to various camps and activities, but of course, you also want to take longer weekends and spend more quality time together.
I hit a “boiling point” a couple of weekends ago. To set some background, the past few months have consisted of softball tournaments, checking on my aging parents, and trying to sell a house. I finally had a free weekend, and we ended up going to Lake of the Ozarks for a quick little “mini-vacation.” It was amazing to sleep in and simply float around on the water.
All of the above, combined with sports practices, pretty much puts you in a “work part time during the summer” schedule. Today, I realized that I shouldn’t feel too badly about that. After all, I get a few solid hours of work in each day, while tending to my various responsibilities.
Isn’t that the true meaning of work/life balance?
So stop feeling guilty. Take a “mental health day,” if you need one. Go to the lake (or wherever is your refuge). Rest, relax, and recharge. I even have a client that changed the name of their sick days to “health days” to include the right to take a “mental health day”.
I have a feeling that not a single person on their death bed has ever said they wished they would have worked more hours . . .