Use your vacation time. It is given to you for a reason, and it is a good reason. One of the worst mistakes you can make, and I know that I made, is to allow too much stress to build up without knowing when and how to take a break and decompress. Work ethic is great and commitment to your career is fantastic. It stops being so amazing when it is allowed to consume your life and negatively impact your relationships.
This is one of those times where being selfish can benefit not just yourself, but others as well. Taking time to disconnect from the everyday grind is not just important, it is essential. I haven’t done this correctly in years and even then, it was only because I was invited on trips, not typically resulting from my own initiative.
The mind and body, like most things in life, need time to rest and recover. The weekends are good. The holidays are even better. Neither of these is anywhere near the same as taking an extended period of time to do something, anything, that is not related to your work. Even if you absolutely love what you do, an extended break allows for multiple things to take place.
Exposure to some new experiences. More uninterrupted time for your mind and body to properly rest and recover. A chance to get excited about doing something fun and exciting. Even if it is just sitting around the house and catching up on books or shows.
Like any machine, the body and mind need time to rest to prevent early wear down from actually causing damage. It also makes you a more pleasant person to be around. Trust me. The anger and frustrations can only be bottled up for so long before they start to spill out. Inevitably, your relationships will start to suffer for it. It won’t just improve your relationships. A decent vacation is also a great way to regain your focus and make you better and more effective at your work.