Claudette Covey

With the post-pandemic travel boom showing no signs of diminishing any time soon, many advisors are being put to the test with longer and more intense work hours. So, what can advisors do to combat stress and burnout? Three advisors offer advice on how to work toward staying healthy and relaxed – and sane.

“As an agency owner, it’s been a process to address this, not only for my own schedule but also to help my staff not get burned out,” said Corina Johnson, owner of All Points Travel. “Our industry tends to be reactive. So, it is extremely important to find ways to moderate stress and stay healthy.”

The first step, Johnson said, is setting boundaries with clients – which is something she also encourages her advisors to do. “It is important and okay to not be available 24/7 for people,” she said. “Do emergencies arise? Yes. But stop and ask yourself if it is something that can wait until your next business day or if you have given the traveling client the information and contact numbers they need to possibly help themselves.”

Johnson added, “Getting away from my days seeing everything as ‘pants on fire’ has been key in keeping healthy and sane during this time.”

Creating a to-do list and telling clients when she’ll reach out to them based on her own timeline has been a huge stress reliever, Johnson said.

“The occasional facial and Netflix binge day helps too,” she added.

During one of Imagine Travel Vacations busy seasons – January 2 to April 5 – the agency’s advisors worked from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. five days a week and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Shane Lawrence, president of leisure sales.

“Do those hours affect your health? They certainly can,” he said, adding that he recommends advisors who are working long hours use a stand-up desk and spend one hour sitting and one hour standing.

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Travel advisor with happy clients. (Photo Credit: TRAVELSAVERS CANADA)

“Studies show that after 20 years at a desk, you lose more than five years of your life expectancy,” Lawrence said. “There are now bicycle desks that you can use – so you can cycle while working to keep your health up.”

While many advisors embrace being able to work at home, in Lawrence’s view, it can be isolating. “If you don’t have an office to go to try working with another agent at their home and swapping out,” Lawrence recommended. “Also, go to a café with WiFi and try working that way at least one day a week. You’ll be amazed at how much better you may feel.”

Lastly, Lawrence reminded advisors not to forget to laugh. “Make jokes with clients and shoot the breeze,” he said. “If you make it too serious, your job will become not fun at all and that’s not good for you or your client.”

For her part, Tricia Peacock, president of Peacock Travel Group, said that although she is working harder, she is “trying to be smarter and utilizing our collective team knowledge to share leads and information.”

“As a cancer survivor, destressing and incorporating healthy choices is very important to me. As a nana to six beautiful grands, I want to share the world with them as they grow older,” she said. “I have to get good sleep to function at my best. It’s not a perfect world, but I try to tackle it one day at a time and keep my goals in sight.”

One way in which Peacock combats arduous workdays is by staying active. “A home treadmill and a walking pad help me take mini-breaks from my office and computer,” she said.

“My volunteer time each Thursday morning is sacred to my soul and attitude. Giving back and being kind are two of the most important qualities that keep me in check.”

“Of course, getting away on a vacation always rejuvenates and rekindles my love of travel and life. It is like breathing fresh air into my soul!” Peacock concluded.

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