May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a good time to consider some of the many ways we can prioritize and foster self-care. For me, taking time off from the daily grind is important – and I’m not just talking about a Friday here and there. I’m talking about several days in a row to fully recharge.
It can be a staycation, an international get-away, or just time at home to get your to-do list done and binge that series you’ve be dying to watch.
Trust me, I get it. It can feel daunting to take an extended period away from work, but with the right planning and foresight, it will pay off in the long run. Fortunately for me, and in addition to an empowering and fun work environment, Intesa Communications Group offers Unlimited Paid Time Off. Yep! Here at Intesa, if you’re exceeding client expectations, getting your work done, and your manager approves, you can take as many days off as you need to each year.
shameless plug: if that sounds great to you, we’re always looking for more rockstar public affairs and public relations talent. drop us a line…
After my boss approved my travel plans, I prepared for my time off by getting my colleagues’ and clients’ needs squared away well in advance. Communicating and communicating again about dates and responsibilities is the best way to prepare. I let my clients know well in advance of travel and made sure they were introduced one of colleagues who would be their point of contact. I also prepared a thorough out-of-office memo, accompanied by one-on-one conversations, for the key action items and priorities during the time I was away. It’s important to be realistic and considerate to your colleagues taking over in what you leave behind. Do as much work as you can to prepare so it’s a seamless transition and not a huge burden.
Then, I took a two-week hiatus to explore France in April! And, yes, I of course packed my Intesa vest.
For me, taking the time to recharge is foundational to myself care but also further fuels my efforts to succeed for our clients and to support my colleagues. Here’s what I mean:
Take time off for you. I sure didn’t realize how nice it was to take time away from email, Twitter and Zoom meetings. Especially after years of not being able to travel, it was also refreshing to spend time away home to relax. It helped me feel like a happier and healthier human, which translates in part to being a happy and healthy work professional. I won’t lie though, the post Paris blues were very real the first few days back, but it eventually subsided.
Take time off for your clients. Stepping away from the day-in and day-out tasks helped provide me new perspective on projects. When you’re close to a client project for weeks, months and even years, it can be challenging to “see the forest through the trees.” Two weeks unplugged gave a fresh perspective. It helped me better achieve goals and provide solutions for my clients.
Take time off for your colleagues. It’s often said with great reward comes great responsibility. Being part of a team means you have each other’s backs. If you’re the one taking off, make sure you’ve got everything set up for your colleagues to succeed while you’re out. Don’t just dump list of to-dos without making sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure a smooth transition. That also means being there for your colleagues when they want to take the time off. I’m beyond thankful for my team at Intesa. They’re simply the best!
In all and if you can make it happen, take that trip or enjoy the space at home to recharge and invest in yourself. It’s more than worth it.
Ken Moore visits different sites in France.