With Christmas only a week away most of us are looking forward to celebrating away from the workplace, while others are into one of the busiest times of the year trying to get things done before the break.

While it may seem tempting to stay in the office if you have a heavy workload, it is important to take some time off. It’s also important, if possible, to resist checking emails on your holidays, taking calls or doing pieces of work from home.

Switching off will help minimise stress and ensure you’re refreshed in the new year. In the run up to the festive season, we chatted to a few of our employees to see how much time they take off and their tips for switching off during the holidays.

Vanessa McKay, Associate Director, Cpl Office Support

“This year I am taking all of Christmas off which is a first for me. Three of my siblings live abroad and will be coming home so I am looking forward to spending time with them, as well as my own family.

I love this time of year as I have a bit more time to myself to switch off. It also gives me time to catch up on some exercise with runs on the beach and time in the gym which makes every mince pie taste more delicious!”

Arlene French, Recruitment Consultant, Cpl Technology

“For me it’s super important to take a break. I will take 2 weeks off over Christmas to recharge the batteries. I will stay in Kildare with my Family, in my family home to get out of the city and catch up with old friends. In the 2 weeks to switch off I will do yoga, Pilates, swim and obviously eat!”

 James Goodman, Recruitment Consultant, Cpl NI

“I find Christmas the ideal time to reflect, reset and recharge and ready myself to go into the new year. This applies to work and activities out of work (which for me involves a 2nd degree and additional coaching qualifications).

I would generally take Christmas Eve (my eldest’s birthday) until Jan 2nd off. We would enjoy a family Christmas at the in-law’s and then as an extended family we would go to Andalucía for the New Year.

To make sure the mind is rested I try to complete any big tasks and get that sense of achievement prior to the holidays. I also set a realistic schedule for the first few months of the year to allow the mind to switch off and fully concentrate on my family, safe in the knowledge that everything is in hand for the New Year.”

Aine Brolly, CEO Cpl Solutions International & Director, Ardlinn

“I take Christmas week off usually to spend time with the family specifically my 11-year-old son! To switch off, I love to play the piano and sing – all sorts of music from trad to opera!”

Stephen Mullin, Cpl Client Services Director  

“Over the Christmas period, I like to finish work on Christmas Eve and have a full break until after the New Year.

During that time, I like to go on cycling spins with a group of friends which is a great way of relaxing, socialising and turning off from work. I also enjoy running on my own which is a great form of relaxation and is great for chilling out and helping your mental health. 

As a family we enjoy climbing the Sugar Loaf, walking the pier at Dun Laoghaire as well as the walk to the Poolbeg Lighthouse. They are all great ways to blow away the cobwebs and give the dog a great workout!”

Niamh O’Connor, HR Manager

“I normally take off two weeks at Christmas. It’s a very important time to relax and recharge your batteries before the new year. During the holidays I meet up with friends and family. I find going for walks and swims very relaxing. I always recommend people to never look at their work emails so you can fully switch off from work.”

Overall it’s important to take time off for your mental health. Work should never take over your life or negatively impact your wellbeing. If it is, contact us and one of our specialist consultants would be delighted to help you find a new job with a good work-life balance.