Before you even look at the signs you need a vacation, I want you to complete a quick exercise with me. After you read each bullet point, close your eyes and really try to picture yourself in that scenario.
  • You’re sitting on the beach: the warm sand between your toes, the cool breeze from the ocean, the sound of waves consistently crashing into the shore…
  • You’re camping in the woods: a beautiful night sky with bright stars shining down, the sound and warmth of a crackling fire, the smell of fresh pine trees and foliage all around you…
All right… now how do you feel? If you actually took the time to slow down and imagine yourself on vacation, you’ll feel a physical difference. Just from dreaming about a vacation, your heart rate calms down and your breathing becomes more peaceful. That’s why it’s such a common tool used in meditation techniques.
If that exercise wasn’t enough to convince you, here are five signs you need a vacation.


If you are at work right now reading this… your heart and mind obviously aren’t in the right place. If you go too hard at work, you can experience the draining effects of burning out. Go down this list and ask yourself if you’re exhibiting any of these symptoms:
  • Unmotivated to complete tasks
  • Often distracted throughout the day
  • Exhausted and drained after only a few hours at work
  • Growing frustration with tasks or coworkers
We all experience these symptoms from time to time. But if you’re constantly consumed by these emotions, it’s time to take a break. By taking a few days off, you’ll feel more invigorated and motivated when you go back into work.


When was the last time you felt really well-rested? Getting enough sleep each night is critical for your mental and physical health. Without it, you’ll struggle to complete even the most simple and mundane tasks in life.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
  • Increased stress makes it hard to relax and fall asleep
  • You struggle to turn your thoughts off at night
  • You dread going in to work the next day
Obviously there are many reasons you may have trouble sleeping, but if you don’t have a history of sleep issues, it could be from work. When you go on vacation, you need to promise yourself not to think about work. You need to truly escape and forget about your problems to get a better night sleep.


Have you ever shaken a bottle of soda? Each shake of the bottle creates more pressure as carbon dioxide is turned into a gas instead of staying liquid. On the outside, the bottle may look perfectly normal, but one twist of the cap and BOOM!
Don’t let work frustrations continue to build inside of you to the point of explosion. Here is a list of examples to determine if you might be making mountains out of molehills:
  • You feel stressed about assignments that you normally handle with ease
  • Decreased patience makes you snap at coworkers or loved ones
  • You feel mounting frustration and anger over the actions of others around you
If you’ve reached this level, do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor by going on vacation. Give your mind and body a break so you can function properly in a work environment. Think of it as a way to slowly ease the cap open on a shaken bottle, instead of ripping it off without warning.


Many of the issues we’ve discussed in this article can spill into your personal life. Lack of sleep and problems at work can cause an unhealthy ripple effect. If you aren’t willing to take a vacation for yourself, perhaps you should take one for your loved ones.
Ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you having more arguments than usual?
  • Are you too distracted by work to pay attention to conversations with loved ones?
  • Do you feel disengaged during activities with family or friends?
  • Do you feel more distant because you aren’t able to spend more time with your family?
A vacation will give you a chance to reconnect with loved ones. You’ll be able to forget about work and have meaningful conversations about your relationship and life goals.


Increased stress and lack of sleep can leave you feeling drowsy throughout the day. Some people even experience ‘microsleeps’, which are very brief episodes of sleep while being awake. It can also affect your ability to think clearly, react quickly, or form memories.
Lack of sleep and increased anxiety can lead to these health problems:
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
Is avoiding a vacation really worth sacrificing your health? Even if you feel like you can’t afford to take time off… do it! You’ll be more productive, positive, enthusiastic and relaxed when you return.
Do a quick personal evaluation to determine if you’re showing signs you need a vacation.