How to avoid job burnout when demotivation, dissatisfaction, or exhaustion have already begun? Salvation can be taking a sabbatical – freeing yourself from work, which will help you wake up and regain creativity and energy.
Everybody knows burnout syndrome well. Unfortunately, it is becoming more common in people of all ages. Luckily, today there is enough information and methods available to either prevent burnouts or deal with them once they have sprung. Taking a sabbatical from work has become increasingly popular in recent years as a prevention against being exhausted from work.
Hand in Hand with Modern Society
Modern times have brought several achievements that make our lives easier and more pleasant, but as usual, every coin has two sides. We are witnessing an accelerated pace in many areas of life, we had to learn to manage and handle many things at once, and it is equally important to mention that a lot of mental work has been added. We are constantly under the pressure of society but also ourselves. It seems that any “mistake” could mean that such a seemingly functioning system would collapse like a house of cards. We face high demands in our personal and professional lives, but we must not forget that the two spheres are significantly interconnected, so problems in one will affect the functioning of the other.
The Solution Is a Sabbatical
What does a sabbatical actually mean, and how is it helpful in working life? The word sabbatical has its origins in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek and is mentioned in the Old Testament related to agriculture, where it is said that Jews must let the land rest every seven years. A similar principle should apply to the working people who need a break from time to time. Regardless of the working area, everyone sometimes needs time off to ultimately continue being effective at work they enjoy. It sounds really ideal if we had the opportunity to take a few months off with the fact that after a while, we would return to work full of new vigor and energy. There are jobs where such free time is an immediate necessity for a person not to burn out and collapse.
The time that employees use for active recreation will eventually bring the company many benefits.
Taking a sabbatical is a common trend in some countries, where companies provide paid leave for their employees. In the advanced ones, it is even an obligation in certain occupations. Slovakia, of course, does not have these standards yet. As this is a radical change, at first sight, both employers and employees are involved, although the sabbatical is no longer an unfamiliar concept, and employers are becoming more and more open to it. And as many psychologists point out, its implementation could bring much better results in terms of better work commitment and success, in addition to the newly acquired mental well-being and mental hygiene of employees. Proper timing and communication with your superiors are important. Don’t make a hasty decision without a plan, for which neither party is ready in the end.
It’s Not a Vacation
If you feel that you need a break and are determined to take time off, it is also important to follow a few rules so that you do not slip into procrastination or lose work habits. In the beginning, it is good to ask yourself why you need a break, what you would like to use it for and how you can manage it money-wise. People with family and various financial obligations need to communicate with their partners openly. What is the difference between a traditional holiday and a sabbatical?
Sabbatical can be not only a solution to prevent burnout at work but an opportunity to set priorities.
Unlike holidays, the essence of the sabbatical is to gain time and space, which one uses to gather new experiences and at the same time a distance from the daily work that they have been doing for a long time. Paradoxically, a person can be quite busy during the sabbatical. The form of relaxation consists in carrying out stimulating activities, for which, for example, you did not have much time until recently. At the same time, you may also have new experiences in the profession you are engaged in. Thanks to such experience, you will get the mentioned healthy distance from work, and with a fresh perspective, ideas will return to work. The time that employees use for active recreation will eventually bring the company many benefits.
Fulfilling Your Dreams
At the same time, a sabbatical represents an opportunity to start engaging in new activities, hobbies, or old dreams, for which there was never enough time. People who managed to predict that it was time for taking a sabbatical and at the same time gained the courage to do so often immersed themselves into the study of languages, travel and even decided to start a new project. If you have the opportunity to take it, it is an excellent opportunity to change and gain a healthy perspective needed to come with new creative ideas. No matter how you plan it, a few months of leave of absence will surely bring a positive experience into your life. Therefore, let us hope that this trend will no longer be rare in Slovakia.
Text: Miriama Vojteková, photo: Adobe Stock, Pixabay