We love summer as much as anyone, but three cheers for fall! One of the great things about this season is the way it seems to inspire everyone to slow down a little, reassess, and re-energize for what’s next. For us, “what’s next” is the busy holiday event season (is it just us, or does that seem to start earlier and earlier every year?), so now is a great time to take some deep breaths and muse a little about the power of taking a break.
We love what we do and everything that comes with it, and at the same time recognize that everyone needs to check in with their wellness every now and then – a busy schedule, high pressure situations, and just juggling work and personal lives can be draining on anyone’s physical and mental health. At the end of the day, taking the time to enjoy hobbies, connect with people, and explore the world we live in is what keeps all of us creative, inspired, and ready to tackle the next big thing, no matter what that is for you.
We all have individual approaches to re-energizing and relaxing – to get you thinking, here’s a little peek at what you’ll find our team up to:
Amy gets her brain to reset by playing and writing songs on her ukulele
“My ukulele loves to come out during the summer; it’s happy place is the beach. I always forget how refreshing it is to sit and play music. My skills can be rusty after a hiatus but once I get back into the flow of things, I can feel it shifting my brain. Playing instruments requires the right brain and the left brain to interact (especially if you’re attempting to sing along while you play) and taking the time to exercise my brain this way always leaves me feeling mentally stronger and healthier.
I’ve started writing my own songs too which can be incredibly therapeutic. I do a lot of proposal writing for my work and the switch to poetry is refreshing; you have to think more abstractly sometimes to make a poem flow and work, and I know this practice also sneakily helps sharpen my writing skills overall. I can get lost for hours soaking up the sun and gradually working on a song, and whether it’s something I play again or not, I leave feeling revived, reset, and inspired.”
Sue gets outside to get meditative
“I am a firm believer in finding that balance in life, and that means taking time out to reconnect with yourself and with the essence of you. Being in a working environment is a wonderful opportunity to be connected to something larger than yourself and to contribute to society as a whole. As great as that sounds, you also need to take time away from the hustle and bustle both physically and mentally. To do this, I love to be outside and connect with nature and unwind by walking (or running) and being anywhere near or around nature – trees, flowers, water, sand, wildlife. Whether it’s the trickling of a stream, the smell of rain, the soft sound of water splashing against a bank or the sweet sounds of birds chirping, doing this soothes my soul and awakens all my senses – nature’s own symphony. For me, this clears my head and allows positive thoughts and energy to flow freely which is always followed by inspiration. I believe we are all here to leave the world a little better place than when we first arrived, and what better way to do that than to calm your mind, body, and spirit by doing the things that bring you the most joy – whatever that may be.”
Riley goes way, way up to disconnect from technology, reconnect with nature, and learn about herself
“I recharge by hiking, scrambling, and mountaineering in the Rocky Mountains. There is something comforting and humbling about being a part of something so immense; it reminds me to put things into perspective. Sunshine and fresh air re-energize me, and being disconnected forces me away from my phone and computer and gives me space to think clearly. There are no luxuries or extravagances and no image or social expectations, just good company and good conversation. It’s simple, slow, and casual, it’s inexpensive, and it’s the ultimate exercise, even in the winter!
I’ve also found that planning these outings on a weekly basis means that I’m not dying for those vacations that come around once a year. This gives me something to look forward to on a smaller basis and motivates me each week. On top of that, route finding and navigation (without the help of Siri or Alexa) helps my problem solving and time management skills in the office. Best of all, I’ve discovered that I’m capable of far more than I knew – once I’ve overcome one big challenge, it forces me to reassess a lot of other stuff I’d previously dismissed as ‘impossible’.”
If Riley’s idea of a mental wellness break sounds right up your alley, her favourite hikes are Tent Ridge and Spray Valley Kananaskis. Riley’s hiking hot tip: “Mount Engadine Lodge is open to public from 2pm – 5pm for post-hike refreshments. The patio views are spectacular and if you’re lucky you might spot White Sox, their resident Moose.”
Renée takes one-on-one quality time with her daughter
“My daughter is my biggest accomplishment and biggest joy. I have a lot of trouble taking time for myself, but making sure I take time for her puts life into perspective. I try to make every concert, parent viewing, and bedtime. Every year I take a winter holiday with her to Mexico, which has a special place in my heart. It seems to be the one week I can shut down and just be. We also love to get out in the winter for a ski holiday. Enjoying the fresh, crisp air and racing one another down the mountain is one of our favourite things to do.”
Orlando maximizes mini vacations and commitment-free weekends
“I like mini vacations and I cannot lie. As we all know, this business is high intensity, high expectation, and high stress. I have a hard time ‘stepping out’ mentally from the demands of this environment and to counter that I try to take a couple of mini vacations every year, usually on the back end of a busy season. When that isn’t possible, I just enjoy some solitude by setting up a weekend off without plans.”
Jennifer takes her family back to her favourite childhood spot
“I love the beach. Something about the sand between my toes and the feel of the calming water always resets me. Spending time with my family is another thing that can recharge me. My favourite place is Moyie, BC, where I spent a lot of time as a child, and I love bringing my family back there now. Adding my kids into this setting I love, and hearing them laughing and having fun, always fills my heart with so much joy.
Our industry is fast-paced and stressful, and taking time away from it is important. When you make the time to recharge, you’re able to come back to work ready to take on whatever else this industry can throw at you.”
Gillian uses music and movement to clear her head
“I dance. I enjoy folk dances most, as they are less prescriptive and allow more personality in their expression. When dancing, I concentrate on the music and movement, and this peaceful mental break is super important to maintaining my wellness. Afterwards I feel energized and excited, and I have lots of ideas and no barriers on my thinking. It keeps me fit and clear-headed. I work, am in school, and have had other challenges over the last few years, and taking the time to go to the gym or dance is that much more important when life is busy or hard.”
Dustin uses fitness and hiking to stay challenged, while getting away from his calendar
Dustin’s schedule is enough to make the toughest among us cringe, but sitting around isn’t really his thing either. It turns out that “active rest” like marathon training, cycling, or climbing mountains is a better fit; there’s really nothing like moving the body to clear the mind, and if you end up hundreds of feet high with unreal views, then all the better. Clean mountain air, the pure reward of achieving challenging goals, and an excuse to get away from the copious amounts of notifications for a few hours are great for achieving balance and relieving stress.
In addition to our approaches here, another great way to clear your mind and maybe even find yourself seeing things a little differently is to take some time for honest conversations with the people around you, so with that in mind we’d love to hear what you do to maintain balance, protect your body and mind against excess stress, and stay healthy while keeping up with the crazy pace that many of us maintain. You can drop us a note or leave a comment on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter if you feel like sharing.
If you’re looking for some other topics to mull over (maybe you need a little digital coffee break), check out posts on buzzwords like authenticity or value, how to responsibly use technology that collects guests’ data, or how to build a culture of creative confidence. And then think about scheduling in some time to do whatever it is that energizes and inspires you this season.