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Hokie Health: Taking time off is important to mental health and wellness

Mental health is health. And we believe that when it comes to mental health, at Virginia Tech we are Better Together.

From: Hokie Wellness

Lines between work and personal lives have blurred since the onset of COVID-19. Many find themselves working longer hours in order to demonstrate loyalty and productivity. Taking a day off may not seem like a priority during a pandemic, but the inability to detach from work impacts well-being, productivity, and can lead to burnout.

Employees are encouraged to take care of themselves and use their available time off. Disconnecting from work, even for a short time, allows us to sustain work performance and prevent burnout. It is important to find a way to mentally disconnect from work on days off, including the weekend.

The benefits of taking personal time off, without responsibility or plans, can provide significant work-stress recovery, boost creativity and engagement, and improve relaxation and mental clarity. With the pandemic, vacations can be redefined as focused family time, caregiving, and self-care. Try something you have never done. Rediscover activities within your immediate reach. Envision creative ways to relax using the resources in plain sight. Simple pleasures such as taking a hike or bike ride, “camping out” in the backyard, or having game or movie nights with the family are just a few great ways to disconnect from work and focus on yourself and your family.

Visit the Employee Wellness at Home site for more information on virtual workshops, connection sessions, and other wellness resources offered. Learn more about how we can be Better Together at Virginia Tech.

Hokie Wellness serves Virginia Tech to foster a healthier community by providing prevention services, education, outreach, and resources to employees and students. If you have questions, need help, or would like to join the Hokie Wellness Google Group to stay up to date with monthly updates, contact the team at hokiewellness@vt.edu.