Post-Vacation Anxiety

The following is an excerpt from Episode 45 – The Slow Burn of Rejection. Listen to the whole episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

I’ve been back to work for one or two days since I went on my week-long vacation. Since being back, I’ve had this weird sensation that I’m going to call post-vacation anxiety.

I had a great vacation. I took my time off, time for myself. I did self care. I didn’t worry about work, you know, like I actually had a vacation. But as soon as I’m home, almost as soon as I get into my city, pulling into the drive, I can feel this wave of anxiety come over me. This overwhelming feeling that I have to do everything I didn’t do during that week of vacation within the next three or four hours or else I’m going to be so behind. It’s an overwhelming feeling that I am so far behind because I decided to take a vacation. I start to almost feel a little bit of guilt for taking a vacation, which I know it’s insane. It’s crazy. Why am I feeling guilt for taking vacations. You know, I’m allowed to but I start to feel this like I need to catch up. I need to catch up. I forgot to do these things or I didn’t prepare enough. Which is crazy because the week before vacation, I prepared for everything I could of. I got a lot of work done early. I set and, you know, I set myself up well for my podcast, for my content, like I did well, I really did prep to where I didn’t actually have to do most of any. I only had to really clock into work for about an hour while on vacation, which is insane for me because I’m a workaholic. So I don’t know why I felt this way of this anxiety of I forgot to do stuff, I’m behind, I’m going to go to work and everything, like I’m not going to have a job anymore. I’m gonna do my new part. I’m going to do a new episode and I’m going to forget how to podcast. I’m going to go to write a blog and I won’t know how.

Like, it’s insane. It’s just this it’s anxiety and this guilt of taking a vacation that really hit me hard on Monday. All day I was in a weird, funky state. Of, you know, I feel out of place. I feel new again. It’s kind of like whenever you have like three or four off days in a row and you go back to work and it’s like, I forgot how to work. But I just felt so off and unsure of myself and just really anxious about work and about, you know, my side households and everything. And honestly, I didn’t really talk myself out of it until literally like two hours ago until I clocked out of work to come home and do this podcast. So it’s crazy, the timing and like, you know, how things worked out. But I talked myself out of my post vacation anxiety and I put my vacation like, you know, guilt. I talked myself out of it by really just understanding that. With my job, with my actual 9:00 to 5:00, am I work from home job, you know, the jobs that I am, I’m employed by someone else. Those positions, they are just a job. If if honestly, if me taking a week off from that job derails the validity of me being a great employee.

If it derails me completely as a valued employee, then that’s that’s not for me. That’s not where I need to be. So, you know, as any any human any American worker, you deserve a week off. You deserve to take vacations.

So if when you come back and if you feel like you’re behind, that’s just you putting that onto yourself. Does that make sense? I had to remind myself that these are just these are just jobs. You know, these are nine to five. These are not even if it’s my career. This is just a job. This is not my life. This is not my. My relationships, my family. This is not, you know, something that I could not pick up and find somewhere else. These are just jobs.

So if in all honesty, if me taking a week off of work.

Is going to derail all the progress I made in those positions, then that’s probably not the place I needed to be anyways at this point. So that made me feel better about, you know, work. And then as for me, feeling anxious about being behind on the podcast and on my Instagram and on it, you know, my all I side hustles, I told myself, you know. Part of being a busy person is that you get you get to do and so, so much that you just get overwhelmed and you shut down. At least that’s how it works for me. So I have to remind myself that if I don’t take breaks, if I don’t take vacations, then I’m setting myself up for a complete derailment later.

So while I do, you know, feel a little bit anxious because, you know, I took some time off when I could have been working on other things, I could have been furthering myself.

It’s still important for me to take that time. But, yeah, just I’ve never really felt this kind of post vacation anxiety and no doubt before, because I’ve usually worked when I’m in work, I usually work at like a bartending or I’m waitressing or I work somewhere that it’s a 9:00 to 5:00. I don’t take my work home. You know, it’s not something you show up and you do the work. It’s not something you take home and like have a project or whatever. So you can’t really be behind on that or it’s schoolwork. And I’ve never really taken a vacation during school work, like I’ve always been pretty good about that kind of stuff. And like I prep before, just like I did now. But it’s just the fact that I’m in this weird transition period of having a big girl job. Well, two bigger jobs. And, you know, it’s just this feeling that, okay, I’m back to work and I need to make up for my time. So I’m glad that I finally talked myself out of that post vacation anxiety. I’m fine. I’m glad that I finally realized this, the root of my anxiety and why I was feeling bad. And it was that that feeling that I needed to catch up. And then I much like with most of my anxiety, I can usually talk myself through it and minimize it and rationalize it. So, yeah, I mean, I don’t know if anybody else has ever felt that kind of like. Just like is had a sense of sadness. I can’t think of the word like that guiltiness of taking a vacation, like we feel guilty for doing self care. We feel guilty for taking a break when we could be doing more. And, you know, I just I’m somebody that I love self care. But I will I will sacrifice it if it means getting ahead. But this time, I prioritized it. I almost didn’t even bring my laptop on vacation. But, yeah, it was it was an interesting start to the week post vacation.

But now that I know that this might happen again, you know, the next time I take a vacation, I will know how to better prep and better deal with, you know, prep beforehand and deal with it as it comes. So, yeah. There’s I thought post vacation anxiety rally really does exist.

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