A lot is going on this time of year between work and personal life. Taking a break to rest and recharge is essential. That’s why at Bluetrain, we close our office between Christmas and New Years annually, and have done so for 16 years (this year returning Jan. 3). This allows us to enjoy some much-needed downtime and return to work in the new year feeling reenergized. Taking a holiday break is a must.
Why is Taking Time Off Important?
We believe in working hard and taking the necessary steps to prevent burnout. Work burnout can negatively affect your mental and physical health, causing symptoms like irritability, low energy, low productivity, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep habits, headaches, stomach issues, and more.[i] Taking an extended break (and continuous days) during the holiday season allows us to focus on non-work activities, enjoy a healthy work-life balance, reconnect with loved ones, and prevent burnout. We then return to work in the new year feeling refreshed, happier, more creative, productive, and ready to be our best selves for our teammates and clients. Plus, many of our clients close their offices during seasonal holidays, so we can take the week off without disrupting most schedules.
How We Prepare for Our Holiday Break
Taking time off for the holidays requires planning to ensure everything is in order before we leave. We communicate early with our clients to inform them about our holiday break, availability during that time, and any steps we need to take before Christmas vacation. If meetings are required, we schedule those before our time off or mutually agree on early January dates. We also set expectations with our clients about the activity and/or results they can expect from their marketing initiatives during the holiday break period.
To ensure no one is scrambling to get work done right before the holiday break starts, we complete our tasks in a timely manner. This often means creating content ahead of time, which gives clients time to review and edit and gives our team time to finalize the content before we go on break.
Automation plays a huge role in preparing for our time off and greatly benefits digital marketing. Digital marketing efforts can run in the background while the Bluetrain team and our clients are on vacation. For example, we can run online ads and schedule social media posts to go live while we’re away (with emergency contacts ready of course!). Digital marketing is working for you even when you’re not working.
Benefits of Taking Time Off: Work-Life Balance and More
Improved Mental and Physical Health
Stress can impact your mental and physical health. It can cause anxiety, depression, lack of focus, headaches, an upset stomach, sleep problems, and much more.[ii] Taking time away from work can help reduce stress and encourage mental and physical well-being.
Improved Focus and Productivity
Taking time away from work to focus on other things helps you be more focused and productive when you return to work. A holiday break lets you rest and recharge, so you return to work with more energy, improved focus, and more motivation, resulting in a more engaged team, better work, and higher productivity.
Better Work Relationships
When you return to work with an improved mood and higher motivation, you can do your job better and be your best self for your teammates and clients. You can be a better communicator and collaborator, creating a more positive work environment. You can also have the energy to attend client meetings and provide an excellent client experience.
The importance of work-life balance cannot be understated. It helps reduce stress, improve mental health, and helps ensure you have the time and energy to focus on the parts of your lives unrelated to work, such as personal relationships and hobbies.
Recovering from Burnout
Taking a break from work allows you to recover from burnout or prevent it. When unaddressed, work burnout can cause issues like stress, insomnia, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatigue, sadness or anger, and more.[iii] Time away from work means more time to sleep, exercise, relax, and do other healthy activities.
How to Spend Your Holiday Break
A holiday break is a perfect time to take your mind off work, do activities you enjoy, and reduce stress. Make time for hobbies, whether listening to music, doing arts and crafts, spending time in nature, or some other activity. Christmas break is also an excellent opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family and participate in holiday traditions.
Another idea for how to spend your holiday break is cleaning your home. This may not sound like the most exciting activity, but having a clean and clutter-free environment can help you feel calm. Plus, you’ll be able to focus more on your work when you return to your job rather than feeling overwhelmed by your home to-do list.
If you’re trying to reduce stress while away from work, try low-energy activities to give your brain some rest while still enjoying your time off, such as reading or going for a walk. You can also try relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. Physical activity can also help you manage stress.
If you’re still struggling to manage stress, ask for help. Talk to a mental health professional for advice (often available through group benefits). You can also try mobile apps designed to help with stress management or talk to friends and family about your feelings.
No matter how you spend your holiday vacation, taking time off work is essential for your mental and physical health and work-life balance and helps you feel ready to do a job well done when you return to work.
There are tons of benefits to taking a holiday break. The Bluetrain team takes a vacation every year from Christmas to New Year’s to relax, recharge, and return to work, ready to do our very best. If we sound like a team you’d like to work with, visit our About page to learn more about us or reach out via our Contact page.