The bustling holiday season is upon us once again. Amidst the turkey-trots and the mad rush to shop for or make travel plans to see our loved ones, it’s important to remember the most important thing we all have in this life: our health.
As healthcare and pharma marketers, researchers and legal minds we all spend most of our days fighting for the patient in some fashion, directly or indirectly. Oftentimes, we do so at the expense of our own health; inordinate amounts of time away from those we hold most dear for job related travel, late hours in the office resulting in irretrievable amounts of lost sleep as we strive to complete RFPs or perform compliance reviews for messaging and creative… the list goes on. And, so must we.
Earlier this year, on the first day of summer I read an intriguing opinion piece in The New York Times written by author Bonnie Tsui titled, “You Are Doing Something Important When You Aren’t Doing Anything”.
To paraphrase Ms. Tsui, ‘we all need to take time in our busy lives to rest, to read, and to reconnect with what is most important to us.’
This act of doing “nothing” is known as fallow time, and without it our mental and physical health begin to fail. This is not just a shared opinion, it is science. This October 2013 Ferris Jabr article from Scientific American, “Why Your Brain Needs More Down Time” spells it all out for us in great detail, with a plethora of empirically evident examples to support the case.
With that in mind I pose this question to each and every one of you: If we struggle to maintain our mental and physical health because we don’t take the breaks we need away from our work in order to enjoy life, recharge our batteries, refresh our creative minds and reconnect with our purpose, how can we continue to effectively do the good work we do on behalf of patients and clinicians everywhere?
In this season of gift giving, consider the advice Ms. Tsui’s friend gave her, “Be open to the invitation to replenish yourself, he said. Say yes to the gift of no requirement.”
Sure, you can’t just drop everything for the rest of the year now that Thanksgiving has arrived. You can, however, take the opportunity presented by the long holiday weekends and (if you’re lucky enough) modified office schedules to replenish yourselves now that the hustle of the RFP season is beginning to wind down. Instead of striving to reach inbox-zero this weekend, try putting your laptop away for a little while. Read a book. Take a nap. Take a series of naps. It’s the greatest gift you can give… to yourself, your family, your clients and co-workers, and in the end the doctors and patients you work so tirelessly for throughout the year.
Editor In Chief