By Leanora Minai
June/July, 2018 Issue
What Does Your Duke Time Off Look Like?
This summer, as part of our "Duke Time Off" photo contest, we invite you to share photographs of your hobbies, fun times, and big and small summer adventures.
Working@Duke hosts the photo campaign each summer (see story on page 11) as a reminder to take advantage of Duke's generous time off benefit and to illustrate the mental and emotional rewards that come with unplugging from work.
According to "Project: Time Off," an initiative by the U.S. Travel Association, slightly more than half of Americans are not using all the vacation time they earn. And, the group says, this can affect your level of happiness at work and home.
I talked with Nichole Capitanio, director for Duke's Personal Assistance Service, about the importance of taking a break. She said whether you take one day or a week off, that time away eases stress, improves your health and relationships and gives you the "mental distance" to solve problems.
"Taking time off is so beneficial for your mental and physical well-being and your creativity," she said. "The work will always be there. Time is something you can't get back."
Nichole also noted the importance of prioritizing and planning for time off by blocking time on your calendar for activities and travel and sharing vacation plans with colleagues.
"You send a message that it's okay," she said.
You don't necessarily need to leave the Triangle area or break your budget to take time off. With summer upon us, here are a few ideas for activities to help you refresh:
Prime your creative side. Visit the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke (free for Duke employees), or Raleigh's North Carolina Museum of Art, where admission to the permanent collection is free.
Listen to music on a lawn. The "Music in the Gardens 2018" series runs through July 25 at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Tickets are half-price ($5) for Duke employees. You can also use your employee discount to enjoy music under the stars with the North Carolina Symphony during Summerfest in Cary. And on certain Thursdays this summer, grab a spot on the lawn by the Lucky Strike tower at American Tobacco in Durham for live music.
Picnic in Duke Forest. Did you know that Duke Forest maintains two picnic shelters located off Highway 751 that are available to rent? Each site has a grill, table, and other amenities.
We can't wait to see your summer fun pictures. Share them with us on social media using #DukeTimeOff or upload photos here: bit.ly/DukeTimeOff2018.