How to Delay Your Start Date So You Can Take a Breather

Americans are good at a lot of things, but taking vacations is definitely not one of them. Culturally, we’ve been programmed to go-go-go, equating productivity with success and thinking of downtime as wasted time. According to Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation Report, U.S. vacation time is at a five-year low.  American workers received 14 vacation days on average and used 10, meaning 653.9 million days were left on the table in 2018. 63 percent of Americans go six months or longer without a vacation, and 28 percent have gone a full year without taking a vacation. And 25 percent admit to checking work email/voicemail at least once a day while on vacation.

But in reality, vacation is so much more than "wasted time". Countless studies have proven that taking time off is incredibly beneficial for employees of all ages and levels, as it allows us to decompress and disconnect from daily work stressors and come back relaxed and rejuvenated. After taking a vacation just two days in length, people reported liking themselves more, feeling more confidence in their ability to solve problems and feeling more hopeful and outgoing. 91 percent of Americans feel taking a vacation lets them hit the reset button on stress and anxiety. And 82 percent come back from vacation with more patience for their coworkers and clients.

It’s clear that taking time off is hugely beneficial, but depending on your workplace, you may not get a ton of paid vacation time each year. And that’s why the holy grail of PTO occurs when you’re in the process of switching to a new job. 

Think about it: so many professions require employees to be connected constantly (which is a different story for another day), so at what other point in your career will you truly have no work responsibilities — no office to commute to, no email to check, no boss to report to — calling your name?

The thought of asking your new boss to delay your start date may be intimidating, but it’s important for your overall health and wellbeing. Plus, some companies have a PTO probation period, meaning that it could be months before you can ask for even a day or two off. 

So, how can you negotiate a delayed start date without appearing like a slacker?

Read my full piece on Fairygodboss to find out.

Your Night Routine: 5 Things to Do Before Bed to Have Your Most Productive Day Ever

We’ve all had nights when the couch and the show you’re binging on Netflix are just too damn appealing, making it a Herculean effort to get up and start preparing yourself for the following day. But before you hit “play” to watch just one more episode, consider the following: According to the Harvard Business Review, there’s a proven link between how much sleep you get and how effective a leader you are. The bottom line: The more you delay your bedtime routine, the worse you’ll be at effective problem solving, being results driven, seeking out different perspectives and supporting others — and chances are you’ll be pretty cranky, too.

But you can avoid sluggishness and set yourself up for success by following a night routine. Read the full post on Fairygodboss to learn five things to do before bed to have your most productive day ever.

4 Ways To Keep Calm In Any Stressful Situation, According to Neuroscience

We all encounter stress in our daily lives--it’s part of being human. But that doesn’t mean we have to let it overwhelm and consume us. Believe it or not, there are many easy ways to control your reaction to stress and keep calm in environments that would typically cause your blood pressure to skyrocket. Read the full post on Fairygodboss for four ways to do so, according to neuroscience.

4 Proven Ways To Train Your Brain To Think Positively

It’s been estimated that humans have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. With that amount of information running through your brain, it’s only natural that the emotions assigned to each thought will vary from wildly positive to strikingly negative.

But while we all have our “Debbie Downer” moments, there is actually a way to train your brain so that those moments are fewer and farther between. Read the full post on Fairygodboss for 4 ways to start flexing that positive-thinking muscle.

5 Newsletters That Should Be in Every Smart Working Woman’s Inbox

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a busy woman who’s bouncing from project to project during your workday, leaving little time to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world. Even when you do find yourself with a few spare minutes between tasks, perhaps you don’t know where to start to get the most well-rounded content in the least amount of time.

An easy, underrated solution to staying informed? The email newsletter. Whether sent daily or weekly, a selection of curated articles will help direct your attention to content you most need to know about on a variety of subjects.

Read the full post on Fairygodboss for five of the best newsletters that should be in every smart working woman's inbox.

3 Phrases That Make You Sound Naive At Work (And What to Say Instead)

Communication in the workplace is a topic that’s been studied in many ways. And here’s a spoiler alert: the data always shows that effective workplace communication is crucial to personal career growth. Yet even the most seasoned pros can inadvertently undermine themselves by not choosing their words carefully.

Check out Fairygodboss for three common phrases that make you sound naive at work—and what you should say instead.

Websites, Apps and Podcasts For Lifelong Students

Have you ever wondered why you can easily remember seemingly useless facts, but are incapable of recalling important dates? Do you marvel at the ease at which you can sing all the words to a song you haven’t heard in years, but you can’t remember what you ate for lunch yesterday?  As it turns out, emotion plays a huge role in memory formation. In short: when we attach emotional significance to a piece of information, we’re much more likely to be able to recall it.

But if you’re worried that being a random knowledge retainer is fruitless, fear not: obscure knowledge is actually good for your mental health. Psychologists explain that knowing the answer to a question that others might find arcane causes a rush of dopamine to the brain, similar to the effects of gambling or playing a video game (but with virtually no downside).

Check out four sources to learn new facts on a daily basis on Fairygodboss. If nothing else, the random knowledge you’ll acquire will make you an excellent team member at your next trivia night.

3 Women Who Found Their True Calling After 45

While some people know exactly what they want to do with their lives from the time they’re teenagers, many others struggle to figure out what they want to be when they grow up—even when they’re grown up. Which isn’t necessarily a negative thing. In fact, career switching has become more common in recent years, particularly among those in their 40s and 50s, proving that it’s never too late to start over. Here, three women reveal how they found their true calling after the age of 45.

Read the full article on Vault.com.