It's that time of year again! Cooking big meals, out of town relatives, searching for the perfect gift. Thanksgiving through the New Year, there seems to be no time to take a break. On top of this "magical time of the year" stress, workplace stress does not disappear. The holidays are supposed to be a cheerful time; however, studies show that people tend to get more stressed because of work responsibilities.
Follow these tips to get a healthy work-life balance during the holidays:
- Inhale positivity – exhale negativity. If it's going to be a hectic day, start with the hard tasks, and plan for "rewards" in between each task. Research has shown this can help your mind get through a busy day. You have meetings all day and a holiday party that night, try looking forward to the events ahead of you. See how this mindset can help set your day up.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Tune out the office. Meaning, you don't need to be buried in your phone or computer while you are out of office. Take this time to spend with friends and family. This is your time to reset and refocus.
- Make a list (and check it twice). Write out a list of everything you need to get done for both work and personal. It seems simple but can be so helpful in getting everything out of your mind and onto paper. Categorize your lists by the importance, work ahead, and start crossing off tasks.
- Put stressors on do not disturb. Often, the pressure we place on ourselves is so high that we become our own worst enemy. If you are anxiously anticipating a laundry list of things to do, it's ok to find shortcuts or simply say "no" to items that are not a priority. Don't underestimate the power of "no" and the relief it can bring you.
- Plan for your own timeout. Being on the go may seem to be the norm at this point during the holiday season. Many of us begin using any spare time we have to get caught up in the day - replying to emails, thinking through a work problem, using your lunch to run personal errands. Instead, use these spare moments in your day to give yourself a mental break. Use the 3 minutes you have between two calls to take a break. These spare moments throughout your day are important when it comes to your mental health.
- Get your blood flowing. It's easy to hold physical tension when you're stressed, and adding the upcoming holiday on top can make it worse. Planning time to decompress is a must. Activities such as taking a walk, doing yoga, meditating, or simply taking a few deep breaths can help release this tension.
- Can I put you on hold? Prepping to end the quarter and year, it seems that everything piles up. Less important tasks can wait. You have made a list of "to-do's," you have also organized by priority. Now decide, what things can wait? Is there anything you can push to the beginning of the new year?
- Getting by with a little help from a friend. Don't be afraid to ask for a friend's help when it comes to planning a holiday cookie swap or working with colleagues on a complex project that is due before the holidays. Many hands make light work.
- It's not you; it's me. Set expectations at the office before you take time off for the holidays. Let your customers and colleagues know when you will be out of the office and won't be online. This will not only help with work relationships but your home ones as well because you won't be bothered with work during that time — one less thing to stress about.
- Pick up after yourself. Keep a clean desk, inbox, and mind. Not having so much clutter in your life will help you feel on top of your game. You'll be ready to tackle all your work tasks and the holidays.
- Technology is your friend. Let your software do the work. Systems that allow you to manage tasks, share information, and give notifications can be a lifesaver during the holiday season. Find solutions that save you time from manual tasks and breakdown communication between teams (ahem, like EntityKeeper!).
- Have fun! Make sure to use your vacation days or request a day or two off. You have been working hard all year long, time to relax! Take advantage of the time to celebrate the holidays with friends and family
We hope these 12 tips put you on the path to being stress-free during the holidays!
We would love to be part of the reason you felt a little more at ease this holiday season. We can help you get started.