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Holidays 2020 ― Parexel Talent Acquisition reflects on celebrating this year

Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself. Over the past year, the Talent Acquisition (TA) team has worked diligently to invite the best talent to join our organization. Working together, employees at Parexel continue to give their all—keeping clinical trials moving, switching them to decentralized, and leveraging real-world data to stay innovative and fast. But, giving it our all also has its toll, and we need to take time to recharge.

During this unprecedented time, how we recharge and still make the best of this year's holidays has many different approaches. We asked our TA team to provide their ideas on celebrating the holidays, reflecting on the year past, and recharging.

Katy Maust Indianapolis, IN, USA

Celebrates Christmas

In past years we either traveled for Christmas to a large family gathering to do Christmas Eve caroling, or we would host a gathering. But this year we won’t do either, so it will be just the 4 of us—me, my husband, and our 2 kids.

We want to keep the spirit alive by having different activities planned for our kids (ages 5 and 3). Focusing on making Christmas as magical as possible for our kids is hopefully what they will remember from the holidays this year, not the quarantine/isolation.

  • Lots of night walks looking at Christmas lights
  • Making/decorating sugar cookies
  • Zoom calls with extended family that we are unable to see

To recharge I hope for more sleep, but let's be honest, that won’t happen with two kids 😊.

Hyeona Lee Seoul, Korea

Celebrates the closure of the year and new year coming

In previous years, I used to go out to the beach with my parents to see the sunset on December 31st or sunrise on January 1st. This year, I plan to drive along the coastal road and see the sunset on December 31st, and instead of going outside, my family will see the sunset from inside of the car.
When the sun sets, I will video call my parents and will screen capture all of us – the sunset, my parents, and myself. It will be another way to celebrate and remember the times we used to be in the same picture in person.

On December 31st, I usually take a few minutes for myself to remember the moments that made me grow or made me think I want to be a better person.

A good way for me to be thankful for another good year is to have a nice relaxing time with my family ― watching a movie we like and eating something great with my husband and kid. I love to bake, especially pizza, and eat the good foods I made with them.

Steph Gallagher Dublin, Ireland

Celebrates Christmas

In Ireland, Christmas is traditionally a time spent with all your family and friends and is usually a very sociable occasion! This year will be different, as we are all encouraged to stay at home with our families and avoid mixing with other households. It will be a different type of celebration this year, but one we still look forward to. We will all adapt our plans to comply with the public health guidelines and keep the most vulnerable members of society safe.

I feel 2020 has afforded us all time to pause and reflect on where we are at, both from a personal and a career standpoint. Throughout this pandemic, I have felt proud that I work in an industry contributing to the development of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

    Ranjit Dadigela Hyderabad, India

    Celebrates family, friends, and life

    This year's celebrations will provide me more time with family and a lot of time to introspectFreedom is precious and should not be taken for granted. Let's give our future generations a more beautiful world! Have the courage to stand for what is right even if you have to stand alone!

    A tip to recharge. Unwind!!! Talk and reach out to old/lost friends and meet with those whom you really miss. I will still celebrate through virtual get-togethers.

    Alexandra Chaiya Berlin, Germany

    Celebrates Christmas

    This year is quite different, as we can´t travel to my family because they live outside my country, so the celebration will only be me and my daughter. I'm trying to stay positive, convincing myself that as of next year things will HAVE to change. The vaccine gives me hope.

    My approach to still make it a special small celebration:

    • Get nice home decorations
    • Buy the best food you can afford
    • Plan in movies, board games, and books

    To recharge I suggest disconnecting from the crazy outside. Reflect on the essential things in life; treat yourself… sleep, eat, drink well, and try to find love in your heart to keep going ❤.

    Norene Luo Chengdu, China

    Celebrates her sister’s birthday

    There are many ways to give a gift to family or friends. What we need to do is to think with our hearts and act with our actions. It's not about the money, it's about the heart, and it’s good to see the smiles on their faces. The best way to celebrate is to have a good memory of a particular day. I used to buy birthday cakes from the store for my sister's birthday, but this year I made the cupcakes for her myself.

    2020 was destined to be an extraordinary year. So many things have happened that make us realize how precious it is to cherish the present life. It is the simplest wish to have a healthy body and be with our family every day. Personally, I think a holiday means you can do whatever you want and like to do, whether it's staying at home or going out, learning a new skill, reading, cooking or even sleeping. Put your mind and body in a state of relaxation, like recharging your batteries.

      Krystle Curran New Hampshire, US

      Celebrates Christmas

      Traditionally, we will celebrate with our extended families and friends leading up to the Christmas holiday. Trying to keep up with everyone’s schedules can feel hectic! This year we have been given the gift of slowing down and refocusing on what we are truly thankful for.

      To keep the holiday special, we have kept the small traditions going at home, like baking and decorating holiday cookies, decorating our Christmas tree together, and enjoying Christmas movie nights as a family—complete with hot cocoa and candy canes! Additionally, we plan to host family zooms to catch up and connect over the holidays.

      The end of the calendar year is a great time to look back on all that was accomplished, also as a family. We’re turning what could seem like a negative into an achievement! We kept on going, we did it together and we are still smiling!

      This year especially we should really take time to recharge over the holidays:

      • Put your To-Do list aside and unplug
      • Realize that activities are limited and hosting is at a minimum
      • Let the day take you where it may… even if that is not very far!

      Ssu Wang Taipei, Taiwan

      Celebrates staying healthy in 2020

      I run to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic. To celebrate I choose a beautiful place to run and feel grateful we are safe and healthy! When I run, I feel peaceful and reflect on myself, and the brain becomes very clear after exercise. This recharges me, and therefore I reserve the time to do things for my physical and mental health without interruption from work and family duties. 

      Pavandeep Mann Nottingham, UK

      Celebrates Christmas and New Year

      This year we are not able to celebrate festivities with colleagues; there is no Christmas lunch or party. But, we can still keep connected online and take part in some Christmas-related virtual quizzes and get together with the wider team! Staying home constantly can take a toll, so it’s important to stay connected with colleagues and be understanding.

      For the break, I suggest taking a proper break – without logging in and feeling the pressure to be online. Plan some activities with your friends and family – restrictions permitted, getting outdoors, or something you enjoy.

      Priyanka Mehta Mohali, India

      Celebrates a healthy lifestyle

      This year has taught me that true happiness exists within small moments, friends, and family. Nowadays I don’t search for happiness in materialistic things and focus on what makes me celebrate each day. I was still able to attend the majority of family get-togethers, and even my elder brother's wedding! Also, I was able to devote time to a lot of recreational activities, like meditation and jogging, which really refreshes me.

      To help me recharge, I don’t switch on my laptop or take office calls during holidays. It is equally important to disconnect oneself mentally, as it is to take a focused approach to my tasks. I have started taking note of the minimum hours I take in a day to complete my entire work which doesn’t include any procrastination or lethargy. This has also drastically improved my time management skills.

      Crystal Chiu Taipei, Taiwan

      Celebrates a New Year

      As we are not able to travel abroad this year, I’ll stay home instead and maybe pick a few days to walk around the hills locally. To recharge I think it’s always great to spend time in a quiet place or in nature. Also, I like to cozy up with hot beverages.

      To reflect on the past year, I review my calendar and journals.

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