Last week as I listened to the amateurs setting off round after round of fireworks, I looked online to see which holiday had the most visits to the emergency room. I thought it might be the Fourth, with burned limbs or worse. My friend thought it would be Thanksgiving from equally-challenged amateurs trying to deep fry turkeys.
It turns out that they’re all bad. Kids get hit by cars on Halloween. People forget to take their meds amidst the December holiday festivities and travel so have heart attacks or relapse with disease. Drunks crash on New Year’s Eve. People fall on the ice in the winter and get heat stroke in the summer. And so it goes. The emergency room is open 24/7/365 because there are emergencies 24/7/365.
It reminded me of my friend who works at a church and often says: “Sunday happens every week.” There are no “weeks off” in the church world or cycles where they can shut down and take breaks.
Many positions do operate in cycles — that either ramp up (accountants at tax season) or that flex in intensity (teachers in summer) — providing variation to the rhythm of the work. But for those who operate in continuous industries, it’s important to create artificial relief and tend to employee wellness. The doors may be open 24/7/365, but those who work there need intentional closures for self-care as well as having time to think. Strategy is hard to develop among sameness or stress.