Vacations are a time for recharging. They’re a break from the daily grind that allow your stress to dissipate.
The problem is, modern vacations rarely have that effect for one major reason:
We don’t unplug.
A recent study from LinkedIn found that nearly 70% of people don’t disconnect from work while they’re away. 56% of them gave not wanting to fall behind at work as the reason.
Even worse, over two-thirds of people say they would contact a colleague about work-related matters while the colleague is on vacation.
If you are constantly digitally connected to work and home life, it’s not really a vacation, it’s just your normal life in a different place.
Obviously the biggest culprit in keeping us from unplugging is your phone.
Simply keeping your phone in a drawer in your hotel is not enough. It should be shut off. Better yet, left at home.
What does the perfect vacation look like from your brain’s point of view? A mix of “relaxed wakefulness” and “play,” which occurs when the brain is engaged in some fun, new activity.
If you really can’t forget about your office email, set aside a certain time of day to do so. And don’t cheat.
While you’re away, you should also forget about your life on social media. Studies have shown that heavy users of social media have a higher risk of depression. Plus, there’s nothing worse than logging onto Facebook to see a friend has uploaded pics of their vacation and it looks better than yours.
On your next vacation, make sure you unplug so your brain gets the break it deserves.