Asian woman in black with luggage looking at phone

The time is ripe for a weeklong beach trip. You toil nonstop for several months. You hit your targets, never miss a deadline, and even skip a friend’s birthday. You deserve this – and you have available vacation leave credits.

But then you stop. Going away means enduring the tedious process of finishing paperwork and turnovers before and after your break. Moreover, you don’t want your colleagues to suffer extra work to cover for you. You hesitate. Should you still push through? Stop right there. You’re suffering from Guilty Vacation Syndrome.

Guilty Vacation Syndrome is a phenomenon spreading across workspaces globally. In plain terms, it’s when you feel reluctant to take some time off. According to Human Resources Online, common reasons for this include:

  • Job insecurity, or when you worry you’ll be fired or replaced
  • A lack of trust among colleagues’ competencies
  • Fear of being perceived as lazy

Although numerous career and employment platforms cite other factors behind Guilty Vacation Syndrome, including poor people management, you must admit that it’s also become a consequence of location-independent professions. When the boundaries between work and life fade, it gets harder to unplug – which is why R&R is more crucial in guaranteeing mental and physical health and well-being.

A study in the Journal of Positive Psychology states that vacations and meditation contribute to improved well-being and mindfulness. American Psychological Association also shows that removing people from areas they connect to anxiety helps reduce stress.

Further research in a 2019 Nature article suggests that spending time in natural environments, such as beaches and forests, also bolsters emotional health for those who reside in urbanized areas. So yes, science confirms what you've known all along: taking a vacation leave is good for your soul. But how can you leave the guilt behind?

How to Unplug on Your Vacation Leave

First, you are entitled to occupational wellness. Most regular jobs in the Philippines provide vacation leave allowances, which means you’re not shirking responsibility. You are just relishing what’s already yours, so make sure to do so with these tips.

1. Tell your colleagues not to message you.

Arrange out-of-office replies. Forward work emails to your reliever. During your vacation leave, mute, if not delete, work apps on your phone, such as Teams, Outlook, Slack, or any other work-related chat groups. Dial down on social media, too, if you can.

Remind your colleagues to try not to send any work your way. Reliable co-workers won’t because they’ll want you to respect their time off, too.

2. Find non-digital hobbies.

Whether you’re relaxing at the beach or enjoying leisurely at home, find a way to distance yourself from the screen. If you’re the type to suffer from Guilty Vacation Syndrome, checking your emails, messages, and project progress must be automatic by now. Avoid the temptation at all costs.

Distract yourself by reapplying SPF lotion as you or go on treks. Use Vaseline Healthy Bright SPF24 PA++ Body Lotion. It moisturizes and brightens your skin (perfect for your !) and protects your skin from the sun and pollution. At least you don’t have to worry about UV rays!

Make sure your pearly whites are clean and bright with closeup All Around Fresh Soothing Menthol Toothpaste. It has fluoride, zinc, and silica to cover your oral care needs, from cavity protection to bad breath.

3. Plan!

You may be on vacation leave but it doesn’t mean you should neglect your work skills. Apply your to your entire holiday. Plot your itinerary in advance and print it out. Jot down the addresses of the places you want to visit and download the maps so you can reduce your time online.

4. Don’t stress about your vacation.

There are no hard and fast rules about spending your vacation leave. You’re not a robot. It takes immense willpower to shut off fully and instantly. Do not get worked up about whether you’re vacationing correctly. If you feel crippled that you can’t check your email, go ahead. Get it out of the way rather than be distracted throughout your entire trip. is the first step, and, understandably, a big one.

If you need help relaxing, let Love Beauty and Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Smooth and Serene Shampoo soothe your mood. Apart from being cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, and dye-free, it uses heirloom French lavender – a flower proved to calm your senses.

Ready to spend your vacation leave? Don’t make it a guilt trip and just have fun!