Wellness Pearls

18 January 2024

The Edgy Art of Planning Fun First

Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Dolly Parton

I meet so many people throughout the year, many of whom are overwhelmed and stressed.  There are many things in the wider world that are beyond distressing and troubling, and we Americans are not great at using vacation time.  We are drowning in responsibilities. A shocking revelation from a 2023 Pew Study uncovered that more than 4 in 10 U.S. workers don’t take all their paid time off (PTO). The sad truth is, even when we have the luxury of PTO, half of us let it slip through our fingers like sand. It’s time to break free from this approach and reclaim our lives with the rebellious act of planning fun first.

The PTO Paradox: Unveiling the Untouched Days

    • According to the Pew Study, there’s a paradoxical trend where individuals accumulate PTO like a badge of honor but hesitate to use it. It’s time to question this absurdity and challenge the status quo.

Raise Your Hand if You’re Missing Out

    • Picture this: a room full of people I recently spoke with, over 50% of them proudly raising their hands when asked if they have more than 30 days of PTO accrued. It’s a striking revelation that we’re hoarding days that could be filled with fun or relaxation.

PTO Privilege and the Art of Living

    • Acknowledging that PTO is a privilege not bestowed upon everyone, it becomes even more crucial for those who have it to embrace it. Living a good life can’t coexist with all-consuming work.  We need other anchors such as being with ourselves and those we love and have fun with.

Quarterly Escapes and Weekend Adventures

    • Challenge the conventional norms of taking PTO sporadically. Instead, adopt a bold approach by planning a week off every quarter.  Ensure your weekends aren’t just chores but are filled with people and things that bring you alive. Even the most demanding jobs can benefit from a recharged and revitalized individual.

Plan Fun First

 Ted Talk on the Subject

Wellbeing Resources

Use  PTO Effectively

For those not working in hospitals/or hospitality, The Washington Post came up with a schedule to maximize time off for 2024:

  • February 20-23 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • May 28-31 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • June 20-21 = two vacation days becomes 5 days off.
  • July 1-3 and 5 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • September 3-6 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • November 12-15 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • November 25-27 and 29 = four vacation days becomes 9 days off.
  • December 23-24, 26-27, 30-31 = six vacation days becomes 12 days off.

    10 Science backed ways to make better decisions

    A New Scientist article explains that sad people took time to consider the various alternatives on offer, and ended up making the best choices.  Men gambled more when they are angry.  So now we can avoid making bad decisions when we are ecstatic!

    Use Space to help us enlarge our perspective and right size our worries.

    How many people are in Space Right Now?   What do other planets sound like?  

    This website lists each person and how many days they have been in space with their Wikipedia entries.  Copyright-free NASA Space tones offers free sound samples  with dozens of recordings from space:   Here is first audio of MARS sounds  Carina Nebuls (data sonification)

    Pill Holder large enough for Fish Oil capsules

    I’ve resorted to using all kinds of suboptimal devices-  this does the trick

Negotiate your Salary Skillfully

Best article, Make More Money, Be More Valued on how to negotiate your salary  by Patrick McKenzie.   It is geared towards engineers, but this 7000 word essay is useful for anybody negotiating a salary.  It is estimated that people who have used these techniques have negotiated over $9 million in salary as a direct result of this essay.

Stay Well,   Eileen

2 Responses

  1. Amy

    So true. It has gotten harder to even take one day off with all the changes to remote work. People expect you to respond to emails even if you’re off.

  2. Karin Hall

    The badge of honor that we in healthcare specifically all wear with pride is actually contributing to our mental and physical decline over time. Finding Play is absolutely value added to living a fulfilled and satisfied life. Such a great article! Thank you Eileen for putting this out and reminding us all the value of rest and play- particularly when planned or scheduled!

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