Struggling to Switch off?

By Chartered Accountants Ireland

Make a plan

The summer season is well and truly upon us and many of us will be planning our all-important time off – spending time at home, catching up on life admin or on a staycation. However, with the lines between work and home now blurred, it can be even more difficult to switch off completely and enjoy a few days of well-deserved rest.

Switching off and taking some time out for relaxation is important for our health and wellbeing so we can recuperate and step back from the day-to-day responsibilities that preoccupy our mind.

Do you find it hard to fully detach yourself from work?  Here CA Support presents simple and easy ways you can learn to relax, reset and enjoy your annual leave guilt-free.

Out of Office

Before heading off, delegate some of your usual duties and tasks to work colleagues. This might require a 1:1 handover or a quick email to the team. Mentally, a status update to colleagues can give a sense of closing out and a feeling of peace that your work is being looked after while away.

Set up an appropriate Out of Office message with clear boundaries for your time off. We have all seen the generic OOO emails but sharing a meaningful piece of information, such as where you are going or how you will be spending your time off, can make that automatic reply feel more personable and a conversation starter for when you speak to that person next. Colleagues might even be inclined not to send you an email until you are back at your desk. Establish a point of contact that can field queries and respond to emails in your absence. Some email providers even offer an option to automatically forward emails to others.

Literally Switch off and Unplug

In this always-on culture, we carry the office around with us and many of us will have work on our phones. While removing it completely might not be possible, consider turning off push notifications for your apps and free yourself from work distractions. With pings from teams, emails and other communications, there can be an urge to check on them as soon as they come in eating into your time off and delaying relaxation mode.

If you have a designated work phone, turn it off and put it away or, if that feels too much, simply turn on the do-not-disturb setting and set aside a few minutes at the start or end of the day to briefly browse through it.

While WFH our home space has turned into our workplace. If you find your ‘office’ is in a main part of the house and your laptop and work files are glaring at you on days off, if possible, hide away all work-related items until you are due back. This visual reminder of work can make it difficult to completely relax and unwind, bringing your attention and thoughts back to work and your to-do list.

Live in the Moment

Whether you are hitting the beach, back garden or engaging in a fun filled activity or day out, be present and make the most of every moment. Planning some activities can distract you from thinking about work and other responsibilities you may need time away from. Before you know it, you will be back at your desk so enjoy and appreciate the time you have off.

Benefits of Downtime

Downtime is an opportunity to take a proper break away from work pressures, if you are still struggling to switch off think of the benefits some R&R will bring.

It can even make you a better employee with countless research showing rest and recuperation can make us more productive and more focused. One American study found that employees are 40% more productive after annual leave. Fully switching off is essential for your personal wellbeing and can prevent burnout.  It will also leave you happier, rejuvenated, and revitalised, ready to hit the ground running when you are back rather than feeling like you never left.

If you are struggling to maintain good wellbeing, CA Support provides a holistic selection of services that can help you get back on track. You can contact the wellbeing team at Chartered Accountants Ireland’s CA Support on (353) 86 024 3294, or by email