Want to Manage Holiday Stress? Take a Vacation!

This is a collaboration blog by Erika Del Sordo and Meredith Kimmel, ACC.  This blog can also be found at www.MeredithKimmel.com

Do you want to go home for the holidays?  Perhaps, you feel like you’ve been home too much, and you want to get away.  A holiday vacation! A time to recharge! A get away, even if it is just for the weekend!

Does that sound too good to be true?  Well, it doesn’t have to be.

The past few weeks, Erika and I have been providing tips on how to avoid holiday overwhelm and have a seamless holiday season. One of the things that we did not discuss yet because we wanted to devote an entire blog to it is, ‘taking a vacation during the holiday season.’

Americans Are Not Using Their Vacation Time?

Did you know that according to a study done by Glassdoor.com, American workers only used 54% of their eligible vacation time in 2017. While, I haven’t found a more recent study to include the pandemic, I can say that by talking with my clients, I know that they aren’t taking their vacation time either.

Paid vacation days or PTO (depending on how your employer structures it) is a benefit given to you by your employer.  If you aren’t using what is yours, you are leaving a valuable benefit on the table.  Why would you do that?  It’s like taking a pay decrease.

Why Take a Vacation?

Vacations are necessary for so many reasons including, recharging your battery, getting a change in perspective, disconnecting from work, and relaxing, just to name a few.  Research has suggested that you are actually a more productive employee when you take a vacation.

We only have two more months left in 2021 and I’m guessing many of you still have unused paid vacation time/PTO left on the table.  Why not take a vacation during this time?

I’m not saying you must go anywhere exotic or far away.  You can stay home and take a few days off to prepare for the holidays and alleviate some of that holiday stress and overwhelm we’ve previously discussed.    

How a Vacation Can Help You Manage Holiday Stress?

You are probably thinking, “Meredith, how can you tell me to plan a vacation right now, don’t you know the holidays are coming and I have so much to do?”  Or you are picturing the scene in Home Alone where the van is picking everyone up at the home to take them to the airport.  Well, here is my response, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The reasons to take a vacation during the holiday season are as follows:

  1. The holidays are a time to enjoy your friends and family.
  2. The holidays are a wonderful time to relax, unwind, and enjoy.
  3. Many businesses slow down during the holiday season, and that may mean, you’ll miss less at work when you are out of the office or home office.
  4. You have that unused paid vacation time/PTO that we talked about above.
  5. If you are feeling that holiday stress or overwhelm, a vacation is a great antidote to those feelings. 

I can tell you from experience, during the month of October, I took the first week off, and I took two long weekends, and it made a world of difference for me.  I stayed in Florida and went to various locations, nothing terribly exotic, but lots of fun.  These quick trips helped me to feel reenergized about my business.  I feel rested and relaxed.  I am relating better to my family, friends, and clients.  Most importantly, I’m ready for the holidays.

Erika is here now to discuss more about taking a vacation during the holiday season!

Ummmmmm, can I EVER!

Thank you, Meredith!

If anyone can coach you on the importance of taking a vacation, THIS GIRL CAN!

What?? Like Right Now?!

No. I wouldn’t do that to you. Because like most of you, I am in no position to be vacationing in the near future, either. SOON! But not this week.

When you get away, even if just for a short weekend road trip or flight out, your brain resets. It relaxes your heightened, stressed-out senses during the everyday grind and allows you to start fresh when you’re good and ready.

Just make sure that your vacation is actually a relaxing vacay and NOT more stress.

If you’re not happy that you’re getting away, then this particular getaway, or the timing of it, is not for you.

It does not behoove you to go on a “vacation” if it’s going to stress you out even more. You want something that will just chill your mind for a bit, allowing you to refocus on your priorities at home and work.

Here’s the Beauty…

You don’t need to take a vacation before the holidays! Even the planning of a nice getaway in the new year will be enough to let your brain go into relaxation and vacation mode.

It’s like when you were a kid excited about getting ice cream, or going to Disney World in two weeks! Let the countdown begin!

Just as you were excited then about your forthcoming vacation, you can get just as excited as an adult!

So if your vacation/short getaway/siesta – whatever you want to call it – doesn’t happen in 2021, then plan for something in 2022 (preferably not too far past the new year) and see how that takes the load off of all of the overwhelming obligations you have throughout the rest of this year.

It’ll be just enough motivation you need to look forward to rest and relaxation. A nice reward that you so very much deserve.


Meredith and I are always here for you. While we’re not travel agents, we can put you in touch with the right folks. Plus, let us know if you need coaching and motivation to get you through the holidays.

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