Sarah Stultz: Prioritize yourself with a much-needed break

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

The day has finally arrived. 

After booking our flight a couple months ago to see some family on the East Coast, today is the big day. 

There’s nothing like waiting for the last minute — as I type this, I have yet to pack the suitcases and I’m still brainstorming ways to keep our son entertained on the flight. 

It has been over two years since we took a vacation and even longer since we’ve been on a plane, so I’m not quite sure how everything is going to pan out. It feels like it has been so long that I need a major refresher on the security limitations and what you can and cannot take on the airplane. 

All I know is that this mama is probably going to need some prayers for everything to go smoothly and  that the time on the plane is going to pass quickly. Not to mention that we have some kind, patient people sitting around us on the flight. 

As I wrote about a few months ago, the last vacation we had planned was for March 2020. We had been slated to take a trip to Florida when our travel plans were canceled at the start of the pandemic. 

And between the COVID-19 restrictions and busyness at work, a trip was never rescheduled. 

I’m excited to see some warmer weather, to see some new sights and, most importantly, to see family members we have not seen in person for over two years. 

Thankfully, the country is in a better place in the pandemic right now than this past winter, and hopefully things will be able to be somewhat close to normal during our visit. 

I came across some articles in preparation for this column about the importance of vacations in this day and age, whether its leaving town for a few days or simply taking some time off. 

In between feelings of burnout, rising anxiety and other mental health concerns, it’s crucial that people take a step back from their work and other stresses regularly to recuperate and refresh.

According to a poll from job search site Indeed last May, 52% of people who responded said they felt burnt out last year, which was an increase of 9% since before the pandemic. People most affected were those in the Millennial and Gen-Z categories, with almost 60% of that group reporting burnout. 

If you haven’t taken a break from your job or other responsibilities in the last two years, I hope you will make the effort to do so. Even if you don’t end up at the tropical destination you desire, you can enjoy many of the same benefits by taking some time off to have a break from your daily life. 

Your mental — and physical — health will thank you. 

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.