LoHud | How not to need a vacation from your vacation: Bad weather edition

American workers are notorious for not taking their fair share of vacation time.  A majority of employees — 52 percent — reported having unused vacation days at the end of the 2017, according to Project Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association.

As we head into the last month of summer, after an especially rainy week, I asked Harris Stratyner, a psychologist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, for his thoughts on coping with bad vacation weather.

“When people have scheduled vacation time during bad weather, not only is it a financial loss, but perhaps more importantly, it’s a loss of time that they were looking to rest. Parents want to get their children out into fresh air, they want to have them go swimming and boating and fishing and camping,” said Stratyner. “Well they’re not going to be able to do that if the weather is drastic. That is going to cause a state of depression.”

Many patients complain about feeling cheated, he said.

“I’ve had some patients tell me, ‘I can’t believe I work as hard as I do and then I go away on vacation and it rains the whole time’,” he said. “What they need to do is to make the best out of a bad situation and not feel like they are being punished.”

The always-on culture made possible by smartphones has further contributed to blurring the line between work and leisure and causing worker burnout.

“It used to be just the doctors, we were ones who were always stuck listening to our beepers,” he said. “Now everyone feels like they are never away from the office and when the weather turns bad, many go back to scheduling calls or work while on vacation.”

Giving into that instinct is unhealthy.

 

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