2022 is quickly wrapping up, so we’d like to take some time to express our gratitude and appreciation for our partners and customers, as well as our amazing team here at AEC! Thanks to the support of our colleagues and partners, we were able to set in motion many exciting projects and big changes during 2022 that will help us on our path to follow our passion of finding better ways for our customers, business partners, and the automotive industry as a whole.
This year was an extra special one for AEC, as we celebrated 26 years of AEC with our global team of 150+ colleagues in Girona, Spain. As we look to the future and prepare to embark on new challenges, it’s also important to take some time to reflect, recharge, and recuperate – and there’s no better time to do that than during the holidays.
In that spirit, we asked our CEO Andrew Pilsworth, Mike Tsesmelis, Sr. Director AEC Operations, Natalie Gitter, AEC’s Chief of Staff, and Greg Leveille, Associate Director CANAM Trade Business and our Director of HR, Nurtac Denton, for their top tips when it comes to unwinding and resetting during the holidays. So, sit back, get cozy, and ready, set, relax! Here is our AEC Top 10 Collection of Tips on Great Ways to Unwind:
- Take a clarity break
Yes, switching off can be a challenge in an ‘always-on’ world, but it’s hard to completely ignore work emails or busy group chats when your phone is constantly buzzing. Take some alone time away from your phone or laptop, or better yet, turn your phone on silent and leave it in another room to get something like a clarity break. You might even turn it into a family challenge and see who can go the longest without using his phone.
- Make (and stick to) a goal for your holiday
It may sound counterintuitive to try and make a plan for your restful holiday, but how many times have you gone on holiday only to come back and realize you didn’t get to achieve any of the things you wanted to, like sleeping in or reading that novel? Before heading into the break, take a minute to come up with a strategy to make the most out of your holiday. Whether you want to read a book, exercise regularly, catch up on sleep, or spend more time with loved ones, think about what’s achievable in the time you have and set a realistic goal and steps to reach it. For instance, if you’d like to catch up with old friends, take the initiative to reach out to them first, or if you’re hoping to try a new yoga class, find a time that works with your plans and sign up in advance.
- Plan ahead, prepare, and delegate
Just like it’s important to turn off your phone, it’s important to ‘shut off’ your brain during your time off so you can fully relax and recharge. That can be tricky if you feel like you left tasks incomplete or questions unanswered. Before heading into your holiday, take the time to go over your to-do’s (big and small). If there are things you didn’t get to, don’t sweat it: inform those who need to know, delegate tasks where possible, adjust deadlines, and make a strategy for tackling those projects when you return from your holiday. There’s nothing worse than worrying about work when you’re supposed to be on vacation!
- Get outside
We all know that spending time outside can help to alleviate stress and provides opportunities for much-needed physical activity. Plan a hike, go skiing or ice skating, take a long run on a forest trail, or go for a simple walk around the block with the whole family or a bunch of friends, or maybe just on your own and celebrate some me time.
- Dedicate time for family and friends
Me time is important, but don’t forget to take the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family by spending time with the ones who are truly special in our lives. Cook a lot of food and invite friends, make popcorn and stream all Star Wars movies.
- Take full advantage of your extra time
To make the most of your holiday, engage in activities that fully occupy you. Flow and The Power of Fun go into detail on the importance of engaging versus passive activities. The activities may be different for everyone, but the key factor is to experience things that you may not have time for otherwise, whether it’s playing a sport that keeps your body and brain busy, reading a book you’ve been dying to get to, or baking with your children. It can be easy to jump on the couch and sit in front of the TV, only to realize the whole afternoon has gone by and you never got around to that activity you’ve been waiting for.
Exercising is a great way to relieve stress. Try something as simple as going for a walk, but this time, keep your phone in your pocket and don’t make a specific route. Decide how many steps or how far and walk until you hit the number. When you reach that point, you decide what to do next: walk back, go for lunch, call an Uber. Whatever you choose, the lack of planning will help you enjoy the activity, take in the sights and not overthink, all while taking care of your body.
- Take it easy
While it’s tempting to cram as many fun and exciting activities as possible into your time off (like an early brunch, ice skating in the afternoon, and drinks with friends after dinner), remember not to overdo it. Set reasonable expectations and remember to factor in some downtime. After all, one of the best parts about the holidays is not having a full calendar!
- Routine matters
For many of us, going on holiday is about having a break from the current routine. Remember that it takes time to break a routine, and it takes time to get back into it again. If you are traveling over the holidays, see if you can schedule 1-2 days in before the end of the vacation to slowly ease back into your regular routine and avoid being thrown right back in.
- Have fun!
Last but definitely not least: when it comes to the holidays, don’t overthink it, just make sure you take the time to do what makes you happy.
As we head into the final week of 2022, we’d like to wish all of our colleagues, customers, business partners and their loved ones a bright and festive holiday season and all the best for 2023. We can’t wait to return full speed in January and master the challenges of the upcoming year, together as a team. From the entire team at AEC, happy holidays!