Skip to content

Live Well: How to Unplug During Vacation

July 14, 2023


Work is important, but so are your mental and physical health needs. That is why time away from work is critical.

A Framingham Heart Study shows that over the long term, working long hours without taking a vacation is linked to a significantly higher risk of heart attack. The same study found that going without a vacation for just one year could lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

The key is to actually get away from work. If you have trouble truly unplugging during time off, try these tactics:

  • Make it a year-round habit. Set the tone for yourself, your coworkers, and your leader by consistently logging off at the end of each workday and rarely (if ever) replying to work emails outside of work time.
  • Plan ahead. It may be exhausting, but get as much work done before you leave as possible. For work that needs to be done while you’re out, create a clear plan for who will do what in your absence.
  • Set your out-of-office reply. In the reply, be clear that you won’t check in with work while you’re gone. Make sure to give the contact information for your backup in case something urgent pops up.
  • Hide work apps. Just turning off notifications from work-related apps may not be enough to keep you from instinctively checking them. If you can’t uninstall these apps entirely, move them to a different folder on your phone—out of sight will hopefully be out of mind.

Taking time off from work has been found to lower rates of depression and reduce job stress. It can also make you more productive when you’re at work. So make unplugging a priority. Your health—and your career—could depend on it.