Why you should spend the unused vacay days you’re hoarding—stat

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Listen up, worker bees—it’s time to leave the hive, at least for a few days.

A new report from Project: Time Off shows that Americans are missing out on a lot of precious lay-on-the-beach (or the couch) time, to the tune of $270 billion in unused vacation. (That’s 658 million actual days—a 21 percent increase from last year.)

In other words, this is money that your employer is giving to you to spend however you choose—and you’re spending it at your desk.

Worried about what will happen while you’re OOO? You’re not alone. The report found that people are skipping vacations for two reasons: a sense of martyrdom among overworked and overachieving employees, and the fear of a work pile-up too big to tackle once you’re back. Sound familiar?

Don’t let the threat of looming deadlines and inbox pile-ups prevent you from booking some much-needed downtime. After all, women burning out at work is at an all-time high and getting out of the office is actually shown to help you get promoted.

Convinced? Here are three suggestions on how to spend that precious chill time—far, far away from your office.

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Photo: Stocksy/Christine Hewitt

1. Go on a retreat

There are incredible pre-planned retreats happening all fall and winter that will have you exploring nature, reconnecting with yourself, and leaving you seriously revived, all of which require zero organizing on your part. (You’re welcome.)

wellness roadtrip
Photo: Stocksy/Julien I Balmer

2. Head out on a wellness-themed road trip

Coordinate your days off with your healthiest BFF and hit the road. Whether you turn it into an ultimate Cali-girl adventure or organize a fitness-and-green-juice crawl—turn your time off into a seriously rejuvenating vacation.

women's only getaway
Photo: Stocksy/Nabi Tang

3. Get your goddess on at a women’s-only getaway

Super successful, inspiring women are ideal fellow travelers—inspiring major #girlboss goal-setting. Plus, women’s-only getaways are pretty much a guaranteed mood-booster. From weeklong retreats to at-home DIY circles, you can rediscover your badass feminist power during your R&R.

Once you’re back at the office, it’s time to supercharge your at-work self. Here are five surprising ways that successful women power their careers. Or check out the CEO of SoulCycle’s best get-ahead advice.

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