Holidays are made fun with lively music and decor, opportunities to visit friends and families, and, of course, time off from work. But let’s face it, winter holidays can also be extremely stressful, more than any other time of year.
So how can you take charge of your workday and ease the pressure of this time of year? Here are a few strategies to help you enjoy the year right up to the end, frazzle-free.
Stay Organized By Bookending Your Days:
If you want to reduce your stress load during the holidays, you need to plan ahead. One of the best ways to do that is to take 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day to write down what you plan to achieve for the day, and assess whether or not you achieved it.
When you first wake up, don’t check your phone, social media, or the news. Instead spend a few minutes clarifying your top 3-5 tasks for the day, and writing them down. At night, before you go to sleep, review how things went and think ahead for the next day. Stay ahead of the ever-growing task list in November and December.
Say No and Focus On What You REALLY Want:
With the holidays around the corner, your ‘to do’ list is bound to get longer, and often others are bound to try to lighten their load by putting their tasks on your list. Saying “no” is a must during this time of year, but you might feel uncomfortable doing so. You don’t want to appear rude or burn any bridges. How can you create healthy boundaries?
First, focus on what really matters to you. Write down your priorities so that you have them in tangible form. When people ask you to take on responsibilities that do not align with your number one goals, respectfully decline them without beating around the bush, delaying, or otherwise indicating that you are “considering it.”
Be firm, be respectful, don’t be afraid to say no twice if you must, without getting irritated. People will eventually get the message.
Except for when it is necessary for work purposes, get into the habit of keeping your phone off and out of reach. Give yourself permission to work in new environments if you need to put some physical space between yourself and potential interrupters, and let your colleagues, friends, and family know what times you are available to them, and when you need time to focus on your tasks.
The holidays can be stressful, but they needn’t be, not if you stay conscientious of the way you manage your time, energy, and interactions with others. And when you reduce your stress level you will better be able to better enjoy celebrating with the people you care about.
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