Contributed by Melissa Ramsey, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM

Community association management is a rewarding profession, but it comes with numerous challenges that can take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. There’s no doubt that managers also have seen an increased workload as we’ve guided our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, managers have coped with additional stress as they have helped residents with elevated frustrations and those facing personal struggles. Tasked with managing a community’s daily operations, managers often take the brunt of a homeowner’s anger even if it has nothing to do with the community association. That reality can quickly weigh on us if we don’t find an outlet to decompress.

CAI’s 2021 Community Association Managers Council recognized these challenges and made manager wellness a priority by organizing three task forces focused on improving physical health, mental well-being, and work-life balance. This led us to organizing the new Wellness Lounge at this year’s CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW, in Las Vegas.

If you need a break from all the conference excitement, come network with other attendees in the relaxing environment of the Wellness Lounge, have some healthy refreshments, take part in a step challenge, get a quick massage, and receive tips for stress relief and meditation. We’ll also be handing out a brochure that highlights mobile apps to support mindfulness, self-help books and podcasts, and more. The Wellness Lounge is proudly sponsored by BrightView.

I continue to urge managers to focus on self-care. Author Paulo Coelho said it best: “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” Step away from that frustrating email and go out for a walk. Take a few moments to meditate after an unpleasant phone conversation. Reward yourself with a treat after a successful board meeting. Learn ways to relax and find activities that you enjoy.

Remember that each of you are doing an amazing job. We are a unique group of professionals who are asked to do many things and take on many demands for the communities we serve. Don’t forget to take a step back when you’re feeling overwhelmed; prioritizing your physical health and mental well-being will help keep you thriving.

Melissa Ramsey is general manager of Sun City Carolina Lakes Community Association in Indian Land, S.C., and chair of CAI’s 2021 Community Association Managers Council.

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