The holidays bring to mind happiness, memories, and goodwill. Yet even with those happy moments, 88% of people in one survey said they feel stressed during the holidays.
The holidays add more to your plate, at work and at home. While you have more to fit into your day, you can take some intentional steps to achieve greater balance in life through the holidays.
Taking time to be present helps to keep things in perspective. Instead of putting unrealistic holiday expectations on yourself, it pays to take a step back and think logically about how much you can get done in November and December.
To help you find the ideal work-life balance during this crazy season, here are some handy holiday tips to consider.
Get Dates on the Calendar
Taking control of your holiday schedule helps you balance your life and figure out what you can handle. Write important dates on your calendar for personal and business events. Use a color-coding system so you can easily tell what each event is.
Putting everything on one calendar lets you quickly check for conflicts. If your work holiday party overlaps with your family holiday movie marathon, you’ll be able to see the conflict coming and decide how to handle it.
If your busy work schedule leaves you no time to do holiday activities with your family, see if you can adjust your projects or pass off some of the work to someone else.
The calendar also helps you stay on track once the holiday rush begins. You’ll always know what’s coming up so you can prepare accordingly.
Prioritize Work and Personal Tasks
Prioritizing tasks is always an important part of working efficiently. During the holidays it helps you ensure everything gets done. But that’s not just advice specific to work. The holidays are filled with traditions and family memories. Keeping your work life in check ensures you’re able to enjoy those special times.
After you get the upcoming dates on the calendar, identify the ones that are nonnegotiable. If you absolutely can’t miss your kid’s Christmas recital or your family’s annual cookie decorating contest, knowing when to say no to other obligations is a must.
Do the same for your work schedule. You might have a big project that’s due before the holiday break. Working that into your schedule can help you keep those personal and work commitments.
The holidays are a time of giving, but sometimes, saying no is what you need to maintain a positive outlook. Accepting every party invitation or volunteer opportunity adds more to your already busy holiday schedule. That extra commitment can cut into family time during the holidays.
That doesn’t mean you should turn down every request during the holidays. Just make sure the things you’re saying yes to are things you want to do or that fit into your work-life balance.
Limit Your Stressors
Along with saying no, setting boundaries can help you keep a positive work-life balance during the holidays. You likely know the stressors that make it difficult to maintain a healthy life balance. Understanding them and setting limits on those can help you protect yourself and make the holidays happier.
Maybe you prefer online shopping instead of heading to the mall with the crowds, or you’re the type who orders pies for holiday desserts instead of making them from scratch. Maybe you can only handle a short time around certain relatives.
At the office, you might prefer to skip the Secret Santa gift exchange. Whatever the line is for you, define it and stick to it to keep yourself in balance.
Practicing self-care can be especially important during the holidays. That includes giving yourself downtime as a mental break from the holiday excitement.
Make Work Time Productive
The buzz of the holidays may require extra focus to keep you productive at work. To help keep you locked in, use checklists and trackers to monitor your progress. That info can help you decide if you need to make adjustments, ask for more resources, or put in a little extra time now to stay on track.
Give yourself breaks throughout the day if you find your mind wandering. You might meet up with coworkers in the breakroom to chat about your holiday plans or share holiday stories. Whatever it may be, that little mental break can help you refocus.
Taking care of your home holiday tasks also helps you focus better at work. If you’re thinking about all of the things you need to get done at home, you may find it more challenging to focus on your workload. Tackle your to-do lists at work and home to help you stay focused.
Practicing self-care can be especially important during the holidays. That includes giving yourself downtime as a mental break from the holiday excitement. Spend some time sipping cocoa with your kids, watching a favorite holiday movie, or simply watching the snow fall outside your window.
Healthy holiday eating can help you feel better overall, which makes it easier to manage your work-life balance. Don’t forget to break a sweat several times per week to keep up with your recommended 150 minutes weekly.
Bring the Holiday Spirit to Work
Unless your workplace has strict no-holiday rules, don’t be afraid to spread a little holiday cheer at the office. Wearing your favorite Christmas sweater, playing holiday tunes, or sharing a plate of holiday goodies can cheer up everyone at the office.
It could be something as simple as writing a personal message in a Christmas card for each coworker saying what you appreciate about that person.
That festive vibe makes it more fun for everyone to be at the office. When you work in a happier environment, you may be more productive.
Find Your Balance in Life
Keeping the balance in life during the holidays is easier when you keep your actions intentional. Let your holiday spirit remain the focus along with building memories with your friends, families, and coworkers.
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