Making Time for Self-Care
Corporate downsizing, safety regulations, emerging technologies—there is a lot to keep us up at night.
Because much of our day is spent working, stressing and continuously innovating, we often forget to pencil in some self-care time. I know, how do we schedule a mini-vacation when there is barely time for lunch?
I just returned to the office after an extended weekend getaway, and it got me thinking on this topic. Whether it’s fleeting or not, I currently feel relaxed and refreshed—like I can tackle anything. Prior to this brief break, it was a much different scene. And I’m not alone. In the article “Stressed Out at Work? It’s Getting Worse, Study Shows,” Forbes reported some alarming statistics released in a study by Harris Interactive for Everest College. According to the survey, 83 percent of American workers say they feel stressed out by their jobs (up from 73 percent a year ago). If you need a reminder on how stress affects the body, read this.
While this is "good news" for those who sell promotional stress relievers, here’s the dilemma: Once we force ourselves to leave the office, how do we fight off (or at least control) those unnerving thoughts about client catastrophes and, instead, bask in the respite? Check out these 3 tips:
1) Schedule Ahead. What are non-peak ordering times for your company? This obviously presents an opportunity to enjoy some downtime. However, if your answer was “We’re ALWAYS busy,” try scheduling your vacation when key staff members will be in the office. This eliminates the need for constant contact.
2) Choose a point person. Your customers’ problems won’t stop simply because you decided to call out. Designate a trustworthy peer to fill in during your absence. Don’t forget to mention this in your “out of the office” email and/or voicemail prompt.
3) Unplug. I’m addicted to my smartphone and it was DIFFICULT not to check email throughout the day. If this is something you really can’t do, establish a set “check-in” time—perhaps late morning OR early afternoon.
Bonus Suggestion: Relax! Much easier said than done, but this is just in case you forget.