The holidays can be a tough time to be at work. You want to enjoy everything that goes with the season – family visits, cookie baking, school performances, decorating, shopping. But you’re already stressed by shortened work deadlines. When schedules are crammed, both your work and private life can suffer.
How do you ease the strain, manage work and still find time for holiday fun? Try these tips:
Modify Your Expectations
Work priorities can feel overwhelming during the holidays, but most of us need the paycheck. Set whatever limits you can. Finish projects with looming deadlines – but resist the urge to take work calls or answer emails after hours. Practice effective time management. If possible, ask for help.
And don’t compare your life with sentimental holiday movies. Families disagree, finances can be tight, working late might be necessary. Managing your time and dividing responsibilities are just as important at home. While you focus your attention elsewhere, the kids can tidy the house, set the table for company or decorate the mantle – so can your spouse!
Set Your Priorities
“Work with your manager to hone in on the ‘must-do’ items versus ‘would like to do’ items,” says Glassdoor. Establishing an end-of-the-year strategy helps you prioritize effectively without endangering key projects.
Once you’ve tackled your main work concerns, set your priorities at home. Make a list of your personal activities, then determine how you will use your time, recommends Top Resume. “This is where the juggle between family, festivities, and other holiday-related tasks begins.”
What activities are non-negotiable? Which ones are scheduled and which can occur on the fly? Plot out your time using a calendar, smartphone or other appointment reminder system so you can review plans and make sure you’re not overbooked.
When work schedules are hard-and-fast, your social schedule must be more fluid. Give yourself a break. Don’t feel you have to attend every party or strain your budget buying loads of gifts.
These days, there’s a chance your work situation may be more flexible, too. Instead of taking vacation time, see if you can work from home, says Glassdoor. You can still complete your work while taking a brief break from the office – and avoid those non-productive time-sucking discussions with co-workers in the break room.
Take Care of Yourself
More people experience depression, anxiety and fatigue during the holiday season. Erratic schedules, multiple activities and gloomy winter weather can increase these feelings.
Know what things trigger your negative emotions and try to avoid them. Exercise helps relieve stress; so an spending a little time outdoors.
Make time for yourself. The Mayo Clinic’s tips for stress management include mindful activities like meditation and yoga. They also recommend connecting with others and laughing more to relieve stress.
Gathering with friends and family for fun, laughter and memory-making — isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
If a job search is adding to your seasonal stress, talk to the recruitment experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services.