Everyone needs a break. Even if it's just a small one. Given my tumultuous life, it's been several years since I had a real vacation. In fact, it was my honeymoon (and I'm not sure I would call careening around Ireland on the wrong side of the road at 80 mph racing from B&B to B&B - Shannon to Dublin and back again - a vacation).
And though, it doesn't look like we'll be able to afford a real vacation (a week or more relaxing in the sun, sipping fruity drinks from coconuts, in the shade of giant palms), we can certainly plan a mini-break...
In the meantime, however, catch-up days and wellness days are certainly acceptable appetizers to real time off. Today, for example, was a catch-up day. I gave my clients something to keep them busy all day and used the time to catch-up in the office...clean off the desk, put the remaining scads of work in more manageable piles, and finish up a few in-progress projects.
Another easy way to catch a breather: wellness days. Don't waste those precious sick days being sick...if you're lucky enough to be banking sick days, most employers aren't about to let you cash out more than 50 or 60 when you retire, so don't waste them...use them! Plan a "wellness day"...or, as soon as the sun finally decides to shine - just spontaneously feel a cough coming on, and bail. To prepare for this possibility, always leave a plan B work list behind for anyone who might fill in for you, should the mood surface to suddenly feel a little food poisoning coming on.
Anyhow...don't think I'm encouraging you to lie. I'm not. I'm telling you to be creative. Time off is good for the soul...and until our country and our employers catch on that productivity rises when employees are rested, time-rich, and energy-high, we might as well take what is due and make the best of what we have been given.
So, go ahead...Take back your time.