You've probably heard of, or maybe even participated in, a health detox:a process of ridding the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. Most people would definitely eliminate a toxic substance to live a healthy life.
But what if the toxic element in your life is the thing you need to do every day to survive, like your work? Enter “work detox.”
Related: How to Take a Year Off
After 11 years of working and helping build a public company, Jones Soda Co., I decided I needed to take a break. I was one of the legions of stressed workers in this country in poor work posture. There was a huge imbalance with my work and my personal life. For me, the timing was right. There was liquidity for the shares of the company I had been part of building, and I had achieved certain milestones and work goals that I set for myself early in my career.
I I was also receiving offers from other companies to take on increasingly important leadership roles. These opportunities were enticing, but I knew that if I moved on to another company, I would still be stuck in the same “work only” routine. I had to take a clean break.
I stopped working, lived and traveled in Europe for a long time. I was able to assess my life and determine what changes I needed to make to live a healthy and balanced life. The biggest hurdle I overcame was learning to “be” rather than “do” all the time. Doing is easy. Being with yourself can be extremely difficult, but very valuable. You learn so much more from the experience of being.
Related: Why You Need To “Just Be” For 10 Minutes A Day
A workplace detox will energize you personally and help propel you professionally by allowing you to engage, grow, and take stock. While a workplace rehab isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, it can range from stopping work altogether, to cutting hours, or completely changing careers. Some things to consider for a detox at work:
To hire. Build relationships or reconnect with people outside of work. (I came back from Europe with a husband and a daughter!)
Grow and leave your comfort zone. Remove the layers of your professional identity. Discover personal talents and learn new skills. (I learned two new languages.)
Take inventory. Figure out what you really want to do professionally. What are chord breakers and makers? (I decided that next time I would invest my own money and control the whole program. Or I would at least be a leader who could create a strategic plan and execute it with a great team that had the same core values than me.)
Related: 5 signs you need a break
After detox at work, I have a much better outlook at work and a successful balance between family and work. I am much more efficient, because I don't let the little things get to me. I think a lot of that is down to my experiences in foreign cultures and understanding different ways of living – very different from the culture I was used to.
One more Sometimes not everyone can take an extended leave from work and move abroad. For someone who cannot quit their job, it is often quite reasonable to ask for a leave or a short sabbatical. It's not such a bizarre request these days. A good employer will know the value of giving a valuable employee a break if they are exhausted. The alternative would be to lose that employee to another company.
Finally, to be happy and healthy, both personally and professionally, always be sure to engage in work that passionate, because your passion will help you persevere and go the distance, and ultimately provide you with more opportunities for success.
Taking a workplace detox is key to eliminating work-related stress, which can not only benefit your personal life and health; this could be the key to unlocking your professional success. Remember to always take breaks, refresh, recharge, adjust the path and move forward again!
Related: Stress? 5 easy ways to prevent burnout