7 Signs It’s Time to Take a Break

iStock
iStock

The average American is given 10 vacation days a year … but uses only five of them. And even when we’re away, we’re plugged in. The problem is that while working all these hours may seem virtuous, studies have shown putting in extra time is not actually helping you get more done; it’s just wearing you down. So if three or more of these items apply to you, do yourself—and your work—a favor: Schedule some time off.

1. YOUR JOB HAS BECOME YOUR LIFE…

If work is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing before you go to bed; if you think about work while you’re out with friends or playing with your kids; if you feel like you couldn’t possibly leave for a few days—it’s time to leave for a few days. Unless you are the President of the United States, your absence is not going to kill anybody. You are not that important. (Sorry.) 

2. …BUT YOU HATE YOUR JOB.

If you previously liked your job but gradually you’ve come to hate it for no discernible reason, it might be time for a break. If there is a clear cause but it’s something you can’t change, you also deserve a few days’ respite.

3. YOU’RE ALWAYS TIRED.

Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia and poor sleep. If the parade of deadlines in your head is keeping you up at night, or if you start having regular work-related bad dreams, it’s time to step away.

4. YOU’RE MAKING SILLY MISTAKES.

Stress also hinders our performance at work. The more overworked or stressed out we are, the more avoidable mistakes we will make. If your list of little errors is piling up, you probably need to recharge your batteries.

5. YOU JUST CAN’T DEAL.

If you feel thin-skinned and every broken fingernail or missing pen becomes a crisis, you are in serious need of some rest and perspective. Stress can erode our emotional resources, making it harder to deal with problems both big and small.

6. YOUR BODY IS A WRECK.

Stress can raise your blood pressure, upset your stomach, and give you headaches. Working at a desk all day puts stress on your wrists, shoulders, hands, eyes, back, and neck. Every job is hard on your body if you don’t take breaks.

7. YOU HATE EVERYTHING.

Is everything awful right now? Do you dread the thought of getting out of bed and going to work? Do you feel pessimistic about everything? Are you unpleasant to be around? It might be time to get away from it all. (But, it’s important to note, if these feelings persist and are accompanied by a loss of interest in things you care about and/or a constant feeling of numbness or gloom, it may be time to talk to your doctor.)

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]