This year, I tried something different for the December holidays. I took the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s off from work, and I didn’t check my email once.
In our hyper-connected world, many of us have internalized an unwritten expectation that when we’re out of the office we’re still “in”– we’re in touch with coworkers, clients and customers via email, calls and texts. It’s a privilege to take paid time off, and I’m grateful to work for a company that prioritizes the well-being of its employees and encourages us to truly disconnect from work. I’m thankful that this year, Lucas Group encouraged everyone to take a full week off at the holidays and close non-essential business.
In the past, whenever I took time off, I still found myself checking email and jumping in on projects. I’d feel guilty being at home and knowing teammates were still in the office, so I’d stay in touch no matter where I was. As a result, it was hard to be fully present in the moment. Part of me was at the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and the warm sunshine on my face. The other part of me was back in the office, trying to troubleshoot a client problem or prep a candidate for interviews.
That’s why this year, I was excited that we were all logging off together. Here’s how I made the most of this time to reconnect, reflect, reset–– and come back even stronger in 2022:
Reconnect with loved ones. My extended family loves coming together to celebrate the holidays as a large group and being far apart last year was especially difficult. This year, we’re all vaccinated and gathered safely. I also visited my sister and saw her new home for the very first time. In the past, I took moments like this for granted. This year, I approached the holidays with a renewed sense of gratitude and a personal commitment to be truly present. No email is so critical that it needs to interrupt these moments of connection and celebration.
Reflecting on how much we’ve accomplished. This time last year, I was cautiously optimistic that 2021 would be a better professional year. With so much uncertainty in 2020, hiring was put on hold, companies downsized, and for several months, I wondered if I’d ever place a candidate again! Of course, in 2021, the pendulum swung hard the other direction– companies were eager to hire, and I spent long days on candidate searches. Now, we’re amid one of the tightest and craziest labor markets. When we’re in the middle of the daily grind, it’s easy to lose sight of everything we accomplish. That’s why I took a moment this holiday season to pause, reflect and give myself permission to really celebrate what I’ve accomplished.
Resetting for what’s next. I truly love my job: It’s incredibly rewarding to connect professionals with exciting career opportunities and see how these opportunities can change lives. But the intensity of this past year has been tough for everyone. By taking a week away, I was able to get a true mental reset and be prepared to start the new year with a fresh perspective. As part of this process, I’m challenging myself to be more mindful in everything I do. To me, this means being fully present wherever I am, whether that’s a family dinner or a client meeting.
How did you disconnect and reset for 2022? I’d love to hear about your goals for the New Year in the comments below.