UNITED STATES—This past week has been glorious for me. I finally had a long-awaited vacation, one that I desperately needed after going nearly seven months with no significant time off between working two jobs and being a full-time doctoral student. I feel like I have been running myself thin, but refusing to admit it, which is an absolute travesty to say the least. I sometimes think I can just keep going and going, but after all the health issues I sustained in 2023, I should be taking it easier because as they say you’re not getting any younger.

I rarely disconnect from work, but in the past week I did and I didn’t realize how important that is to do sometimes. My body needed to rest mentally. I had no clue how mentally exhausted I have been the past few months and the opportunity to disconnect was needed. My team at my one job noted, enjoy your work, don’t worry about anything, but in the back of my mind I did worry a little, until I just didn’t.

It was the greatest feeling in the world because I stopped worrying and I didn’t realize how much I worry until I was not worrying. Worrying causes stress and stress is not good for the body in any fashion. It can have serious impacts on your health. Not just on the body’s desire to do things, but your mental capacity to want to do things. I did not check any emails for most of the week and that is something I rarely do because I feel like if I don’t check my email I’m going to miss something of massive importance.

There was nothing to miss because my co-workers were making sure things were handled. I was actually able to get things done that I have been putting off for extensive periods of time. I had something planned almost every day that I was on vacation. That was a terrific feeling to just do and know that business is being taken care of at the company by my colleagues who I should trust more. They’re going to handle it, there is nothing I need to worry or stress about. If something serious arises they will let me know, but they took care of it.

I have always had that issue with trusting people because I felt others would drop the ball on something, then I would have to swoop in and fix the problem, and I need to change that trajectory. People know what to do and if you tell them they will do it. I mean I had the opportunity to declutter nearly three years of mail that needed to be shredded and discarded. I was able to spend time with family and help out loved ones who needed a bit of assistance. I was able to sit down and write on a creative scale which I have not done in the mental space that I’ve wanted for years. I was able to spend money on myself and not feel guilty about it, and so much more.

I will admit the time off went a lot faster than I expected but isn’t that always the case when you take time off, it flies when you’re having fun. I will admit I was having fun, and laughing something I don’t always do, but I had the chance to do it recently and I appreciated life so much more as a result. Trust the people that are around you. They have your best interest at heart, if they tell you that they’re going to take care of things and all will be ok, even if in the back of your mind you doubt it, don’t doubt it.

Yes, I know that can be very hard to do, trust me I’m one who simply doesn’t put a lot of trust in others because I have been disappointed time and time again in the past. With that said, to my co-workers who stepped up to the plate and helped me decompress I cannot express my gratitude enough and trust me I will repay the favor for you when you need time off as well.