Do you feel like you’re in need of some time to recharge? Has a stressful role taken it’s tole?
Kerry Bonfiglio-Bains was that burnt out, stressed professional until a stroke at 40 forced her to take some time out of her business to reassess.
This period of self-reflection led to the launch of Grown-Up Escapes, a travel service for busy professionals and stressed out Mums who need a break – and someone else to organise it for them.
Kerry speaks to The Daily Slog about why this service is needed now more than ever and what she has learnt along the way.
What time do you usually get up and how do you start your day?
I always like to start with a coffee or hot lemon depending on how I am feeling; there is something nice about a coffee in the morning whilst I get ready. During the working week I get up around 6.45am and either head off to work, or if its my turn to take the kids to school I get the normal chores done before heading out at 8am. I go to the gym 3 times a week after the school run and then go to the office.
I suffered a stroke at the age of 40, which was a real turning point in my life. I knew something had to change so I slowly started to introduce exercise, reduce my hours at work and spend more time with my friends and family.
How and why did the idea for Grown-Up Escapes come about?
I have a successful recruitment business, 3 children and a busy life. Back in 2012 I suffered a stroke at the age of 40 which was a real turning point in my life. I knew something had to change so I slowly started to introduce exercise, reduce my hours at work and spend more time with my friends and family.
I travelled a lot more and made sure I invested in my relationships with my friends as they had been so supportive during the time I was ill. Even though I wasn’t working full time in my recruitment business I still needed to keep busy and I found myself organising weekends and holidays away for groups of friends and family.
A lot of my friends were reaching the age of 50 and I found there was a trend for going away to celebrate. I absolutely love researching, travelling, and am extremely organised (as well as being a control freak!).
I am an advocate of doing what you love and I discovered that in organising these breaks for friends I had found something I loved. So, coupled with my business acumen and my love of organising, Grown-up Escapes was born.
The most common causes of burn out are trying to have it all and be a superwoman. Lots of women feel they have to hold all of the balls in the air at once.
Who makes up the bulk of your customer base and what can someone expect from a Grown-Up Escapes trip?
The majority of our clients are groups of women either celebrating a special occasion or just getting away from it all with their friends. We are also starting to see businesses using our services for their annual incentive weekends.
The Grown-up Escapes experience is all about saving time, money and removing the stress from arranging a group break so we listen to what the client wants, do our research and offer 3 escapes that we think they will love. We arrange everything from hotels, spa treatments, exciting activities to restaurant bookings. We know it can be stressful trying to please the whole group, finding somewhere to go and arranging fun things to do; we do it all for you so you can sit back and relax.
How do you motivate yourself on days when your energy levels are lower?
I am extremely self motivated and driven but I have to admit it can be tough to juggle everything. I am very lucky in that I work with my sister and a great friend who really support me. I also find going to a yoga class relaxes me and listening to motivational podcasts inspire me.
What’s the best bit of advice you have been given in your career?
Be focused and consistent; it really it is so easy to go off track.
What are the most common causes of burn out that you see in women today?
Trying to have it all and be superwoman. Lots of women feel they have to hold all of the balls in the air at once. Having a career, running a home, looking after the children and of course the guilt about having time to yourself.
How do you relax & de-stress at the end of the day and during difficult periods?
I make sure I exercise to de-stress but the main thing for me is spending time with my friends and family. I see my girlfriends regularly and make sure we go away together at least twice a year.