Self-care tips for journalists

Plan your holiday vacation now, even if you’re not traveling

The holiday season is months off, but if we’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s this: Time flies. Don’t leave your earned vacation time on the table. 

Taking time away from work can help you avoid burnout, and decompression time doesn’t have to involve a destination. But employees across the country have been stockpiling vacation time as uncertainties about when the pandemic will end stack up.

If you’ve pinned your hopes on a back-to-normal holiday season, consider that you’re not alone. With some employers not rolling over PTO, the use-it-or-lose-it requirement could cause a crunch come holiday request season. 

Some tips: 

  • Talk to your supervisor about the end-of-year staffing plan. With uncertainties like the presidential election, traditional holiday staffing needs may be altered.
  • Submit your requests as early as possible, even if you don’t have concrete plans to travel. 
  • Ask your employer what, if any, PTO will roll over into 2021, and by when it must be used. 
  • Get creative: If you’d rather not take a week off, schedule three-day weekends through the end of the year. 
  • If you don’t plan to use your time, for whatever reason, ask about a payout for your accrued PTO. 


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