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Balancing work and play

Addressing the work/play imbalance – Nichola Jacklin, National Account Manager at Center Parcs

In today’s society, we have gradually come to glorify the status of being ‘busy’, wearing it like a badge of honour that signifies our success. Yet overworking is fundamentally damaging to our health and wellbeing, leaving us little time to enjoy our life outside of work as we are constantly ‘switched on’ whether that be checking emails, scheduling meetings or making conference calls out of hours.

Technology is largely a factor in this; having initially been hailed as our liberation from time-consuming tasks, it is increasingly stretching us more and more thinly, as work and leisure time becomes blurred by 24/7 email access.

So how then do we break this cycle?

Start by limiting email notifications on your phone to working hours only – anything you receive outside of that time will simply play on your mind and eat into your time to relax and recharge your batteries.

Challenge yourself to leave work on time and stick to it – booking a class or arranging to meet a friend can really help you stick to your resolve.

Embrace the inner child in you, and reward yourself with play! Whether it’s booking an afternoon of active teambuilding for you and your team, heading to the spa or blowing off steam with a bike ride in the forest, putting aside time for a fun, care free activity is a crucial addition to ensuring a healthy work/life balance. We actively encourage clients hosting events at Center Parcs to incorporate a fun activity into their conference programme, to give delegates time to refresh their minds and reap the benefits of time spent outside.

But what about the time during working hours – is it ever okay to switch off then?

The lunch break is the most neglected ritual of the working day, but should be the prime opportunity to head away from the workspace and give your brain some time to process and recharge after the morning’s mental exertion. We always encourage clients to incorporate regular breakout sessions into their schedule – whether exploring our unique forest environment, eating lunch outdoors or just taking some time away from the learning environment, it does wonders for your mindset and leaves you far more productive in the afternoon than you would be if you slogged through the day nonstop.

Being busy isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just important to reward a busy mind with enough moments of respite that it can thrive in the times when the pressure’s on!

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