Taking More Time Off From Work

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Relaxing greenery, to accompany a calm peaceful time off

Sometimes when I read through the little bio I wrote on this blog's sidebar, I'm reminded about the content I share with you on this space, how surely, it's filled with slices of my life, yet a closer look made me reflect a bit on what I'd like to write more about.

This is my personal and lifestyle blog  | yes... 

where my interests, passions,  | big yes!

and life as a young professional collide. | ok maybe a bit more on this :") 

So allow me to share more about some ideas about my young professional life lingering in my mind lately. Since this time of the year is usually when we realize we may have carried over some of our leave credits from the previous year and would like to use them before they disappear into thin air, I've realized that I've gotten more comfortable in taking leaves as the years have gone by. 

Because honestly, I've had those instances wherein I felt hesitant for taking time off. I'd be thinking: "oh it's 9:00am, I should be in a meeting right now... but I'm not". I admit to having the tendency to always make sure nothing's falling through the cracks, but as time passed, I (ever so slowly) started letting go of things that were not in my control, and instead (I try my very best to) focus on the present moment.

This month has two holidays, and in those same two weeks, I took my PTO so I could have a longer break. Is this it, am I finally getting the hang of taking time off? Younger me would be so proud..

Flowers from Kew, to accompany a calm and peaceful time off

While it did take me quite some time to get comfortable with taking PTO, it's only in the previous year I realized how an extra day of rest on a Monday or Friday can do wonders for when I come back to work again. It no longer has to be all about going out to somewhere new nowadays, but rather just being able to get more sleep is more than enough. Especially in this strange time, wherein I learned to simply be, and do what I can for each day that comes.

I do try as much as I can to prepare for my absence, such as collaborating with my back-up and informing relevant stakeholders in advance, yet life goes on. Perhaps I'm just used to thinking a few steps ahead. Always prepared, always anticipating what could go wrong-- maybe this is where my hesitance stems from. 

There's so many things that can happen in a span of time, yet at the same time, probably won't. And if certain things do happen, surely there will be ways for things to work out. 

There is life to be lived, whether it be in our waking or sleeping moments. Not that we're not living while we're working; I see work as an act of service and it is a good way to make meaningful impact, but it is indeed good to rest and take care of ourselves too.

A conversation I had with my sister a few days ago went on about how she took a long nap on her day off rather than doing the chores she needed to get done. She felt like she could've done more through the latter, but instead chose to rest. To allow her body to repair itself. Imagine, the cells of our bodies getting into work! Amazing. She concluded that she was still productive anyway. I'm choosing to see it that way too. 


How do you choose to spend your days off lately? : - ) I hope you are keeping well, and taking good care of yourself.


  1. i'm glad that you're finally able to let go of that weight (the self-guilt, i mean) i personally don't have issues with taking PTO. i just know it's my right as an employee so i have that "i'll take what's mine" mentality, you know? i'd be angry if a company doesn't offer PTO tbh, just like how my first toxic workplace did not even think it's necessary to provide health insurance. i remember my first workplace being so manipulative and abusive that i was even guilt-tripped for taking a sick leave for one day because i had horrible period cramps. my supervisor-slash-manager said, "i don't like that you're always absent for the smallest, minor thing but i guess you need it if you're really sick." that was A-class manipulation in working environment, imo.

    after my first workplace i learned many things, mostly about my value as an employee. that's how it shaped my current mindset about PTO – that it's my right to have it. i do understand the uneasy feeling of wanting to, for instance, check on mails or slack messages (in my workplace we use slack to communicate, not whatsapp so i'm using slack as an example haha) and while i never went through that phase, i can somehow sympathise. this is especially true if your position is high up in the hierarchy too, right. i feel like my project manager's so workaholic that she'd be online even during weekends. as much as i put serious effort into my work, i'll only do it during office hour. well, considering we're not working remotely, i don't mind answering mails or work-related stuff even at night (and by night i mean max. 00:00 lol) but if it's normal "work on site" situation, i leave whatever work-related stuff in the office.

    i'd like to think i have a good grip on separating work and home life. i'm also someone who need to compartmentalise on that. i don't want my job to rule me entirely, if that makes sense. so maybe all these collective feelings and principles and experiences are the reason why i never feel guilty for taking paid-time off.

    anyway, i'm rambling. point is, i'm glad that you stopped feeling guilty about PTOs. you really do deserve it. you deserve to enjoy vacations or weekends without having to worry about incoming mails every few minutes. i wish companies and bosses/managers/etc understand this, though. i feel like most of them glorify overworking so much they'll sulk if we don't answer them even when it's not office hour.


    √Člise | www.intosolarium.com

    1. I very much agree with you, that PTO really is something we should take without guilt, and I admire your mentality! I guess I just grew more comfortable with taking more of it gradually through time. I do my best as well to keep work within the office hours, and not bring any of it home. Though now while in the wfh setting, it was also yet another adjustment. But I'd like to think I've gotten better at taking breaks in between, and even taking those PTOs. : - ) really great to do so, and even more so in this (still) strange time. Thank you so much Elise for your time and insights; hope you have a great weekend!

  2. It is great that you've been taking more time off from work. Taking time off during a pandemic might be more difficult because we tend to think about what we're going to do, but it is okay to do nothing. I have 45 business days worth of PTO this year... I really need to start taking some of that time off, chunks at a time! My only issue is if requesters at work ask me for a status update right after coming back (even though one was given right before taking a leave). People overall need to be respectful if others decide to take PTO :)

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

    1. Hello Nancy, wow 45 days is a lot! Does that include your health leaves already? Definitely good to plan them out throughout the year. And yes, I've learned how nice it is to not have anything planned, to just take the day as it comes, for while on PTO. I feel like I've been planning too much already at work; it's time to let the mind rest. Thanks so much for your time on here with me!

  3. i have such a hard time actually resting when i take time off from work! i’m always doing chores or running errands or something. i need whatever magic potion your sister took.


    1. Hello Disa, I think the magic is in the napping; finding the time to take a good nap in between all the chores and errands could be a great energy booster, I'd like to think : - )

  4. As someone doing freelance, its the other way around for me. I'm teaching myself not to take that much time off of work since I do tend to stretch my breaks way too long that one, I know that it ain't right anymore, and two, going back to work is such a huge struggle for me. haha!

    I am glad you're taking time to rest! As it should be. Especially now that with everything going around, times are quite tough. We should always prioritize ourselves. Besides, it is when we give our best output and are highly functioning, when we ourselves are well-rested, right?

    — Dems ♡ not a diary

    1. Hello Dems, this is a fresh new perspective! I think it takes great discipline to go through the freelance life.

      I definitely agree with you, that we're at our best whenever we're well-rested. This reminds me of how we need to take care of ourselves first so we can be in good condition to continue doing the work. ♡ thank you, thank you for your thoughts and time on here