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The Guilt Of Being “Out-Of-The-Office”

Written by: Chrysanthi Vazitari, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Guilt is described as a self-conscious emotion that involves negative evaluations of the self, feelings of distress, and feelings of failure. We are often experiencing guilt in our day-to-day life but have you ever wondered, why do we allow guilt to creep in? Feeling guilty when we say no and want to set some boundaries. Guilty when we do not go to that party because we are too tired. Guilty of feeling exhausted, emotionally drained or stressed…

orange sticky note with txt Out Of Office

When on holiday, we don’t expect to feel guilty of anything. We expect to feel relaxed and free of worries. Unfortunately, there is this thing called “guilt of being on holiday”. It might not feel as guilt at first but rather as anxiety and discomfort. Discomfort of seeing all these emails arriving and their number increasing.

Discomfort of getting our of your routine and how you will come back. Discomfort for this unresolved issue that bugs your brain here and there.

The thinking of all this work (being undone) and the piles of dossiers waiting for you when you come back, is starting to occupy your mind. A lot! And that’s when the moment is gone… Instead of being in it, you are now in the “back to work” moment. This moment is very common, especially in today’s world where people wear “busy” as a badge of honor. Where our packed schedules are what make us feel valued.

Have you ever heard of the term “leaveism”? The term has been coined by Dr Ian Hesketh in 2013 to describe the annual leave habits of employees. ‘Leaveism’ refers to workers taking annual leave not only because they are unwell to go to work, but also because they want to catch up on their workload or work outside of their office hours. This means that a significant part of employees is experiencing a workload overload.

This workload overload can lead to a quiet quitting period, a burnout increasing phase. But something needs to change besides being aware of the situation. “Knowing” is not enough, acknowledging is not enough. What would be enough is to take an action. A pivot, a re-evaluation of things. That would be enough!

I always say to my clients “What would you do if you were in the middle of nowhere and you had 4% of battery? Do you scroll social media or do you call, or text someone?” So now you can replace the battery with your energy, what you do in your day with the energy left in your body is very important! You either take an action that can recharge you or drain you.

Find below 5 ways to save your “battery”.

1. Be intentional

Having an intention and not indulging in every feeling or thought is crucial. Try being intentional with your behavior, your thoughts and actions. This way you become more present and achieve bigger and better goals. While being on vacation, set an intention to enjoy, relax, have fun, and connect.

2. Let go of worries

Easier said than done, I know. But letting go is a choice that we make, the choice to let go of our stressful and discomforting thoughts. You can start by confronting these thoughts and then try to rationalize them.

3. Be present

As said before, when worries start occupying your mind, you are not able to be in the moment. In order to be in the moment, you can smell, see, hear, touch and taste things around you. Acknowledge the moment and enjoy where you are RIGHT NOW.

4. Breath

Pretty simple and basic, but when used intentionally, it can be pretty therapeutic as well. Breathing helps our nervous system to calm down, decreases stress, relieves pain and detoxifies our body. Breathe deeply in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Repeat three times.

5. Replace guilt with gratitude

Instead of feeling guilty of the work that’s piling up or the pending emails that keep increasing, BE GRATEFUL for the things that YOU CAN DO! You can start by keeping a gratitude journal. You don’t have to write a lot of things. Pick 1-2 things you are grateful for and write them down every day.

You have earned your vacation so ENJOY IT!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Chrysanthi Vazitari, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Chrysanthi is a certified transformational coach working with multi-passionate and highly energetic professionals, who try to get career satisfaction, advancement or who want to completely pivot their careers. Chrysa has successfully pivoted her career three times already, from an educator to communications advisor in big corporations and is now an entrepreneur/coach. She is the founder of Career Grow & Glow and the co-founder of GrowthUP coaching. Her coaching method is the ACC: Awareness ‒ Clarity ‒ Choice (by CMA) in combination with somatic/embodied and cognitive-behavioral elements. Of course, there is constant change, as she doesn't rest and keep incorporating new methods along the way!



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