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During the summer, many people go on holiday – taking time out to get some sun and relaxation. But when did you last take a proper holiday? When did you last really switch off – your phone, your tablet and all your other devices – and take time to properly relax and unwind?

These days it is too easy to stay connected, but this can have a negative effect on our productivity. What can you do to look after yourself – and the people who work for you – and make sure that you don’t burn out? Read on to find out.

I read an article on the Metro.co.uk website that suggested that ‘millenials’ (people born between 1982 and 2004) check their emails before they get out of bed in the morning. They are on social media over breakfast – if they bother with breakfast. They rarely take lunch breaks and all too often take their work home with them. Their device is probably the last thing that they look at before they go to bed at night.

These people probably don’t often take holidays and when they do, they take their mobile phones and tablets with them, so that they can stay connected to the world and avoid missing anything. I think that this sort of behaviour is not limited to the millenials – younger and older people also are finding it increasingly harder to switch off.

According to a study by Nuffield Health, presenteeism – the feeling of having to be seen at work for long hours – actually costs £15 billion a year. This is twice the cost of absence from work and leads to issues of illness, stress and obesity, which itself can lead to further losses in productivity.

What can you do about this?

As a qualified Wellbeing & Resilience Coach I know that you need to look after yourself first and then consider the wellbeing of the people you work with or manage. Think first about how you can support individual wellbeing and the three areas that can be affected by ill-health:

  • Physical health – including muscular and skeletal, heart disease and cancer, and colds and flu
  • Mental health – stress is one of the biggest mental health issues affecting workers
  • Emotional health – when life events create negative emotions and depression.

These three are often linked and it is well known that physical problems frequently arise from sustained mental and emotional problems.

Secondly, think about the employee/employer relationship you have with people you manage. How is your organization set up to support the wellbeing of your employees through your culture, structure and policies? There is a clear correlation with employee engagement. Good businesses look out for and deal with declines in the health of their people. They also work hard to raise awareness of the benefits of health to their employees, to help prevent lapses which lead to absence and presenteeism.

A new law has recently been past in France forbidding employers from sending work emails to their employees over the weekend. I also know of a German company that uses a system to automatically delete all emails received by their employees when they’re on holiday.

#Tip: The world is not going to go away if you’ve gone away, so learn to let go. There are more important things in life than work and once you have adopted this approach, you need to spread this culture across your organisation.

#Tip: Have a look at the Mental Health Foundation’s Top 10 Tips on how to manage your mental health: http://bit.ly/2xsyGTi

#Tip: Mental Health First Aid England offers a variety of courses for individuals and organisations. Consider becoming a Mental Health First Aider: https://mhfaengland.org/

#Tip: World Mental Health Day is 10th October. Do something to mark that date. Get more information here: http://bit.ly/1otLQ67

If you need some help with letting go, get in touch and we can talk about how coaching can help you. Call me on 07752 518 925 or click here to email me.

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