Pre & Post Vacation Stress: Managing Vacation Anxiety

While vacations are meant to be relaxing and rejuvenating, they can also be a source of stress for many Canadians. In fact, a recent survey found that only 29 per cent of employees say they used all of their vacation time in 2022. This is largely attributed to the stress of asking for vacation approval, workload upon returning, etc. The average Canadian employee works an extra 20 hours to prepare and return from vacation.  In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of pre- and post-vacation anxiety in Canada and provide tips for managing it.

Causes of Pre-Vacation Stress

Can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Workload: Many Canadians feel overwhelmed by their workload before leaving for vacation, causing stress and anxiety.
  • Travel arrangements: Planning travel arrangements, such as flights and accommodations, can be time-consuming and stressful.
  • Budgeting: Budgeting for a vacation can be a source of stress, especially if finances are tight.

Causes of Post-Vacation Stress

Can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Returning to work: Transitioning from vacation mode to work can be difficult and cause feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Catching up on work: Returning from vacation to a pile of work can be overwhelming and cause feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Feeling disconnected: After spending time away from work, it’s not uncommon to feel disconnected from colleagues or the workplace.

How to Manage Vacation Stress and Anxiety

Here are some tips for managing the above stressors:

  • Plan ahead: Before leaving for vacation, plan ahead by delegating tasks or scheduling important meetings for when you return. This can help reduce the workload upon your return.
  • Set a budget: Setting a budget for your vacation can help reduce financial stress. Consider using travel rewards or discounts to save money.
  • Stay organized: Keep track of important travel documents, such as passports and boarding passes, to reduce stress and anxiety during travel.
  • Take breaks: Taking short breaks throughout the day can help reduce stress and anxiety. Take a walk or practice deep breathing exercises to help you stay calm and focused.
  • Set realistic expectations: Instead of expecting to catch up on all your work immediately upon your return, set realistic expectations for yourself. Prioritize important tasks and tackle them one at a time.

Managing vacation anxiety can be challenging for Canadians, but by taking steps to manage it, you can enjoy a stress-free vacation and a smooth transition back to work. Remember to plan ahead, stay organized, and prioritize self-care to help reduce stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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