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Ask Janine - What To Do With Work Leave When You Don't Want To Travel?

ask janine janine wirth the retreat the workroom Nov 10, 2020

By Janine Wirth

Dear Janine,

Due to Covid, like many, I didn't use my leave days to go on a summer holiday. Our HR department informed me that I have too many unused days and I need to take them before they expire as they aren't able to pay us out. I don't feel safe travelling just yet. Do you have any recommendations?


Don't Want to Travel

Dear Don't Want to Travel,

I completely understand you not wanting to travel yet, especially after the recent spike in infection rates. It's unfortunate you can't be paid out or carry the days over to next year, so the next best thing in my opinion, is to make the best of the situation.

If possible, you could try taking every Friday off until the end of the year, so in essence every weekend going forward is now a long weekend. Take a second to imagine that and see if that feels good to you. If it does, and if that would be possible, just remember to really be ‘off work’ and don't fall into the trap of just working from home. Inform your team and colleagues in advance that you won't be available and then stick to it. No emails or work calls, or else you won't have the opportunity to recharge.

If being off on a Friday isn't possible, then I would recommend taking consecutive days off even if you don't travel abroad. December is usually really stressful for most people, so get ahead with your errands. If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah and need to buy gifts, you can do so before the mad rush starts. Enjoy activities like baking, decorating or meal prep at your leisure and use the time to really get into the holiday spirit. Most people are so rushed trying to get everything done that you don't even get to enjoy the holidays, but you can change that for yourself this year.

'Staycations' are great for exploring your own city or taking the time to do the things you would like to, but never have time for. Perhaps you want to redecorate your home or go through your wardrobe but never seem to get around to it – this is the perfect time. Do whatever will give you a sense of satisfaction or peace of mind, whether that be sleeping in, starting a yoga routine, or just really embracing the concept of Hygge and self-care.

A lot of my clients didn't take time off because they didn't want to 'waste' their leave days and now several have reported feeling tired, uninspired and just generally run down. Downtime is critical for our physical and mental well-being, so I encourage everyone to have some downtime even if it doesn't involve an exotic location. 

A digital detox does wonders for me when I feel that I need to recharge. Rediscover the joy of not being available 24/7. Go for walks, listen to music or try something creative and artistic. Time is the most precious commodity, so use it well and you'll reap the rewards.

I hope this has made you excited about your free time.


Janine Wirth, is the proud founder of Path to Healing Therapy and Coaching. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs heal their emotional baggage, heal unresolved emotional trauma and PTSD without spending years in therapy and create spectacular business success for themselves. You may have read her story in The Spotlight and if so you’ll know why she’s so passionate about her work so when she got the opportunity to work alongside The Female CEO and provide a monthly question and answer she was thrilled! 

Do you have a question you would like an answer to? If so then drop Janine a line at [email protected] All questions can be anonymous if preferred, just let her know! You can read all about Janine and her work here or catch up socially on Facebook or LinkedIn

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