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Minimizing work stress around time off


Find ways to reduce stress around the holidays. Posted by Alexandra Cappetta
Find ways to reduce stress around the holidays.

There are many things that can cause stress when on the job, but what about when you’re not working? Maybe certain stressors from work follow you into personal time, or maybe as a physician recruiter, the idea alone of taking time off spurs a different kind of stress - just by being away.

When you do take a break from recruitment activities (which is key to staying sharp) make sure you allow yourself space to recharge. Here are some ways you can minimize stress during your time off:

  1. Keep your contacts in the loop

For starters, letting your colleagues and prospects know you’ll be out of the office ahead of time can help you coordinate any coverage you might need, so you remain connected to your peers and network while you’re away.

When recruiters take time off, a natural concern is losing touch with potential recruits. However, communicating your short hiatus lets them know they haven’t been ignored, and you value the connection enough to keep them informed.

If you’d rather not notify candidates about your leave in advance, setting up automated response emails is an option if they contact you during this time. Note which dates you’ll be unavailable and who can be contacted in your absence. This offers you peace of mind as you’re away because you’ve established that unresponsiveness isn’t an indication of something larger, like a lack of interest. It might seem like one small step, but it can allow you to make the most of your break and unplug without fear of missing something important.

  1. Establish limits and boundaries

Living in the tech era that we do can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it can help make you accessible no matter where you are or what you’re doing. On the other hand, it can make certain obligations feel harder to escape.

Once your time off has begun, it can still be challenging to avoid habitually checking email, answering work-related calls or continuing to look into candidates. Make sure you’ve considered what work activities are reasonable to you while away from the office, and which bleed into your personal time. If you give yourself firmer boundaries when you’re not recruiting, you’ll feel more refreshed and recharged when you return to your usual agenda.

  1. Have nonwork plans in the books

During your time off, try and realign yourself with some of your personal passions and interests. One of the best ways to get your mind off your recruitment endeavors when on vacation is to have something exciting to look forward to. Whether that’s planning something fun or seasonal with family or a friend, give yourself room to exit professional mode and simply be.

Wherever you are and however you’re spending time, try to practice mindfulness - reading a book, catching up on a Netflix series, taking a hike, or enjoying a meal. These little things are little, but they stack up and can help create some distance between you and your role as a recruiter when you need to re-center.

  1. Avoid remote-work triggers

If you’ve been one to transition to remote work during this time, it may be especially difficult to create a divide between work and personal time. Hopefully, if you have been recruiting from home, you’ve set up a designated space to focus on work and keep a consistent routine.

Regardless, you wouldn’t go into the office during your time off, so why spend time in your remote workspace when you’re not working? Isolate your workspace and materials as much as possible when you’re not partaking in usual recruitment activities. This means keeping your work computer, notes and other items confined to the location where you usually set up shop.

Apply the saying, "out of sight, out of mind" here. Even when it comes to non-recruitment or personal matters, avoid this area and keep your work materials exclusive to your professional environment.

  1. Leave your space how you want to find it

Before closing your laptop and shutting the door to your remote space, consider how you’ll feel returning to the setting as you’ve left it. Give yourself a clean, organized environment to come back to; it’ll help you feel more prepared while you’re away, and it’ll make it easier to jump back in when it’s time.

You might also consider making a subtle change to your workspace to make it more exciting or refreshing when you return. This could be adding some different books to the corner of your desk, angling your chair in a different direction, putting a favorite photograph nearby or simply adding a new plant to your décor.

The anticipation of returning to work can be stressful in itself, but at the end of your time off, being greeted by even the slightest change of scenery can give you the feeling that you’re entering a new space, especially if you’re intentional about avoiding your remote setting during your time off.


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