By Jasmine Young

Raise your hand if you have oodles of PTO just collecting dust not being used?

Well, you can’t see that my hand is raised, metaphorically speaking, as I am a person who routinely has residual vacation time roll over into the next year. And if you’re in the same boat, lend me your ear and listen closely. Again, a metaphor, if you could stay socially distant, that would be great. I digress…

You may be thinking that there’s nothing to do, and therefore no reason to take time off, especially with the world still feeling far from normal. But that’s not very sound logic. You owe it to yourself to take a break from the mundane, whether you’ve been working from home, have to go into the office, or have a hybrid schedule like myself. Honestly, you just may need a mental break from this year, which has already started off on the wrong foot.

You need to make time to fill your cup, do what brings you joy and kick your feet up every once in awhile. Nonprofit employees, as one who also counts myself in this group, can be great at grinding—really working to the bone, and while that’s admirable, it’s not sustainable. We need to be at our best for our own sakes (you are not your job), but when we’re recharged, we can do that much more for the organizations and clients that rely on our work.

So please, take time off from work! Even if you have to start small with a three-day weekend, take a step in that direction. And if you’re wondering what you can do with your time off, here are a few ideas:

  • Go outside, it’s free and good for you, enough said!
  • Do a little retail therapy. You can always thrift if you’re on a budget or even window shop. And if you’re not ready to step in a store, there’s always online shopping.
  • Visit your favorite places in the city. Maybe you’re a museum person or love a certain park. Be there and savor the experience.
  • Veg out—I’m not here to judge you. I’ve taken time off to binge watch a show, and it was totally worth it. I encourage you to do the same if you haven’t done so yet.
  • And read if that’s your thing. You are welcome to borrow autobiographical works from contemporary comedians from me at any time.

So do yourself a kindness and give yourself the gift of free time. No matter how you spend it, you’ll thank yourself for making yourself a priority.

About the Author

Jasmine Young is a YNPN Phoenix Board Member and also serves on the Communications Committee. She is an Arizona native and proud Slytherin that frequently engages in car karaoke in her downtime. Jasmine has a weakness for polka dots, dresses, and throwback jams. She enjoys writing tremendously and is happy to share her first blog post with you!