After an exciting holiday weekend, full of family, friends, and fireworks, it’s tempting to dream of a world without professional obligations. Think about your last real vacation – sleeping in and enjoying whatever it is that relaxes you.
The reality is, most of you have to stretch far back to remember your last extended vacation – too far back. As more research is being done regarding physician burnout, there is an emerging correlation between burnout and vacation time.
“What will my patients do without me?”
“What will my partners do without me?”
“If I take a vacation I will have to pay for by digging out of the 10,000 emails when I return.”
“When would I ever find the time?”
Sound familiar? In a recent study, 70% of physicians who were NOT burned out indicated they took more than two weeks of vacation per year. In order to prevent burnout, vacation is a good place to start. Here’s some tips from The Happy MD on how to make the most of your vacation plans.
Take 15 days off.
Yes, you read that right. It can take up to seven days to finally get your mind OFF of work – that’s when you can truly start to relax. Get home by day 14, and don’t schedule any patients on your first day back. “Take care of the backlog of your absence with a full administrative day before you start seeing scheduled patients again."
Make (and keep) strong boundaries.
You won’t recharge if you’re constantly checking in on the office. “Hand off all your ongoing cases with a solid verbal and written transfer of care. Tell them not to call email or text while you are out because you will not be answering.”
Clear off your desk before you leave.
You’ll have a brand new pile waiting for you when you get back – start your vacation with a clean slate.
Schedule your next vacation.
Right now. Open your planner, look as far ahead as you feel comfortable, and block out your two weeks. Your mental health, your family, and your patients will thank you for it.