Already a member?
Login now to see member only prices and resources

Back to news

A Change Is As Good As A Rest!


Thursday 25 August 2022

A Change Is As Good As A Rest!

Nicola Connolly, Service Delivery Manager of Citi

What was wrong? I didn’t know, couldn’t pinpoint it, couldn’t be specific. It wasn’t specifically work; it wasn’t specifically home. Things were getting back to normal, but everything was over consuming me. Refresh, recharge, reenergise are words we often hear regarding our wellbeing but it’s something that I find  really difficult to do - I couldn’t take time out to do that – could I?

There are a range of support services within Citi available to all employees e.g., BUPA, Employee Assistance program, policies, and podcasts, that would work in different circumstances to support people with different needs. For me the ‘Giving Back Leave Policy’ really stood out. This policy offers employees a short period to pursue charitable quests, to give something back to the local community – something that I’d felt I missed the opportunity to do during covid. Some may think that this was just another form of work in a different place, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

I was able to join a volunteer led and managed community group which manage a large community garden and park, for a four week period, at a renovated mill site – Cloughmills Action Team. They run the ‘Incredible Edible food Programme’ which includes growing activities and food sharing through the Community Fridge.  They run a Green Care programme, using the natural environment to support people recovering from emotional or physical health issues and are recognised across Northern Ireland as innovators particularly in the community climate action field. I got involved in a range of activities which ranged from planting trees, to running gardening and painting classes for local groups, joining the wood carving classes in the men’s shed and helping transfer bees to a new hive on the site!

Through the experience I heard stories of how the community group had helped people on the edge of life, how people rely on the community fridge to feed their family, how people felt more  included because of the weekly activities and of how the local mental health nurse was using the site to support recovery regimes. It was truly an eye-opening experience for me personally. I got insight and gained a better understanding of what goes on in the local community and how important this charity is to the local people it supports.

The charity benefited from an extra pair of hands and a different perspective from me, but the benefit was weighted heavily on my side. For me it was very simply - a change of pace, a change of people, a change of scenery! This change in focus and the change of environment really made me realise that the grand old saying is very true - a change is as good as a rest!

I got time to reflect, had new conversations and got to enjoy being outside while doing it. All sounds very simple but having the opportunity to avail of these three basic things genuinely provided me with what I needed to recharge.

If you are like me, the opportunity to take a break, step back or step away isn’t one that comes easily. There are always reasons why you can’t, but there is one big reason why you should - and that’s you! We hear it a lot these days but looking after your mind as well as your physical health is so very important. Citi has a range of resources and support available to assist your health and wellbeing.

If you don’t know what benefits are out there for you to avail of, no matter what company you work for, I encourage you to think about looking into them. Although they will be different in every company and every region, Citi as well as other companies provide support of all shapes and sizes and for different needs and life stages.  

There are many elements of this opportunity that I’ve taken from my experience and applied them to my working life in Citi. I have mentally benefited from this experience, and I know Citi will benefit from a stronger, more resilient, recharged version of me because of this opportunity.

Thursday 25 August 2022

You may also be interested in