Work can be tough sometimes. Heavy workloads, tight deadlines, and interpersonal conflict can make you feel stressed out, exhausted, and in serious need of a vacation. But what if a vacation just isn’t possible? What should you do when you need to get away but you can’t? Author Kat Boogaard offers three suggestions:

  • Change the look of your office – If you’re feeling stressed and unhappy whenever you’re sitting in your office, just the sight of your regular office décor might be enough to trigger negative emotions. So Boogaard suggests that you change things up by adding a new plant or picture, shifting your desk, changing your desktop wallpaper, or even working outside, if possible. She claims that the new look will give you a more positive perspective on things.
  • Adopt a new routine – Do you have a daily routine? If so, you might want to consider switching it up. According to Boogaard, changing your routine can help you to feel more focused and creative. She claims that doing something new (or doing the same things in a different order) can appeal to your desire for novelty and help you to be more flexible in your thinking. So instead of exercising in the evening, try exercising in the morning instead. Or instead of eating your lunch at your desk, try eating it in the office kitchen. Even a small change could have a positive effect.
  • Take a break – When you’re at work, take occasional breaks. Go get a snack, chat with a coworker, or take a short walk. Research has shown that these breaks will help you to be more effective and productive. In addition, in the evenings and on weekends, try your best to unplug. If possible, don’t work after hours or check your work email. Do something enjoyable and relaxing, and separate yourself from your job.

So there you have it. If you feel like you need a vacation but you just can’t get away, give one or more of these techniques a try. And please feel free to share your results in the Comments section below!


Boogaard, K. (n.d.). 3 ways to recharge when you can’t just “take a vacation.” The Muse. Retrieved from