Summer is a popular time to go on vacation, and just like everyone else, you want a little time off (and you deserve it!). In fact, taking a couple of days off may help your career more than hurt it, according to the article 'Your Unwillingness to Take Vacation Could be Costing You Your Next Raise', in New York Magazine.
We know, though, that leaving work for even a few days isn't always easy... especially when you love your job. Here are some tips to give you peace of mind and decrease your stressful work thoughts while you're lounging on the beach:
1) Set up an away message for your email
Why: This will let your patients, colleagues, and that family member who emails you nutrition articles asking "Is this true?", that you are away and not checking your emails. It's a simple step, but it can make your vacation more enjoyable because you're not expected to answer your email (unless in cases of emergency). It also lets your patients and colleagues know that you aren't ignoring them—you're just taking a well-deserved break!
How: Setting up an away message is very easy! We'll explain how to do it in Gmail, but most email clients have very similar steps.
If you use Gmail, go to your Settings, and scroll down to the very bottom of the 'General' tab. The last section should be called 'Vacation Responder'. Here, you can create a message and set the date range that you want your message to send within. Make sure to change the subject line to something informative - we suggest "Out of Office".
Here's an example of a basic away message:
Subject: Out of Office
Thanks for your email. I will be out of the office from [insert dates] with limited access to my email.
I will respond to your email as soon as I am able.
[Your Name Here]
2) Establishing with patients and supervisors when you'll be gone
If you're the only dietitian in your own private practice, then it's good to let the patients you see weekly know when you'll be gone. This gives both of you the opportunity to come up with a game plan for the patient beforehand. Whether it is having him journal a little more to keep himself on track while you're away, or adjusting her dietary goals for a week. Since your practice is built around your patients, it'll make you both feel secure while you're gone.
If you're part of a larger practice, along with letting your patients know, it's also important to let your supervisor or colleagues know. This way, they can prepare for possible urgent questions and concerns that your patients need taken care of while you are gone.