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This is a modified version of an email that TMC’s People Operations team shared about repurposing staff retreat time for a mental health day.

Hi all,

TL;DR: We previously held [DATE] for a half-day all-staff meeting. We’re turning it into a mental health day

Purpose: Provide an org-wide pause and invitation to rest/reset/restore/recharge. 

Why? Recent survey results indicate that team members could use some more org-wide and org-sponsored space to pause. While one half-day off won’t solve all of our sustainability issues, we believe that small changes over time can lead to different outcomes. 

So… what is this day for? Use it to rest or do rejuvenating non-work activities! We’ve provided some ideas and guidelines about this time below, and managers will connect with their team members during upcoming 1:1s to support in work planning, if needed.

Possible ways to use this time:

  • Rest. Take a nap, listen to a meditation or use one of Octavia Raheem’s rest resources.
  • Engage in a non-work activity that rejuvenates you. Read, journal, take a walk, garden, cook, spend time with loved ones, etc.

Suggestions for how to prepare for this time:

  • Some of us won’t feel like we have the time to pause. Talk with your manager about what you need to do to actually take the time off and pause, such as minimizing meetings the day before, setting workblocks for earlier that week, or even helping you reset expectations with yourself and others. 
  • If it helps, plan how you will spend your day so it doesn’t get filled up with other (non-rejuvenating!) responsibilities. 
  • Prep your OOO email responder in advance.

And, if you feel you cannot pause (or you don’t want to), we encourage you to recognize your agency and autonomy to determine what’s best for you. If you do not pause, please work solo—no meetings or emailing colleagues.

Please reach out with any questions! 


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