UNITED STATES—For most Americans, when you’re off work, you do your best to avoid answering the phone, checking emails or doing anything that is work-related. Why? For most people, you won’t get paid, and what is the fun in that. However, for those who work from their home office, the job is that much harder if you ask me. It’s simple to say you’re not going to do something, but to actually hold yourself to that standard is a constant battle.

It is no secret that Americans work too much. In fact, we are getting to a point where we are actually working when we are on our vacation. That is a major no-no in my opinion. There is a reason vacations are so pertinent nowadays: without one you will easily crash and burn. You can make the argument all you want that I can work nonstop, but trust me the day will arrive where you will indeed crash and burn and that is no fun feeling. Why? In most situations, the exhaustion will kick in and leave you not only lacking energy, but place you in a situation where you are likely to be more susceptible to getting ill.

I’ll be the first to admit that I work too much, I mean it’s gotten so bad that I don’t recall the last time I had an actual vacation from one of my jobs, I think it may have been 6 years. Yes, that’s not good because I like the notion of just having at least 7 days to decompress (in all honesty, you only have like 3-4 days where you feel at ease). The day after starting your vacation you are still worked up, and 1-2 days before you have to return to work, you’re stressed about the idea of having to go back to work, making it hard to sleep at night.

There are actual companies out there who believe you should work 24/7. Sorry, not sure what planet you are from, but if that is something you want to do go for it, but don’t expect your employees to fall in line. People need BREAKS, people need TIME OFF! The goal of life is not to live to work, it’s the exact opposite: you work to live. At some point, you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor rather it’s a tropical vacation, time working on a home project, doing something you enjoy or binge-watching your favorite TV show, its time you are entitled to. We’ve become a country engrained with working all the time; being driven by capitalism and our greed to make money that we forget about everything else.

I recently heard someone talk about how they never respond to any emails in their INBOX during the first 2-3 hours that they begin work. Why? It requires a level of energy that does not always put one in a good light. Instead they focus on getting business done, by only sending out emails that deliver positive vibes. It really makes a ton of sense now that I think about it. I’ve recently put myself into a mindset where on my day off, it’s literally that: a day off.

I’m not checking emails; I’m not responding to texts, I’m not doing any work. Why? At the end of the day, those emails, those texts and any other work will be there when I return to work. Why allow myself to continue to be stressed when I don’t have to. Stress is a part of life, but there are ways to curb or diminish the level of stress that one endures. I mean I’ve seen countless people be so stressed from their jobs it led to them getting ill or worse to their death.

No job is worth your life, not a single one. I’d argue if it’s your passion that matters, if it does not, then why are you willing to put yourself in a predicament that makes you feel obligated more than you should be. Simply put, if you’re not getting paid you’re not obligated to give more than what you are already giving.