Surviving Christmas Without It Weighing On Your Mental Health
The festive break is not too far away, and the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. If you’re like me, you may be thinking “How am I going to get everything done?” Christmas brings its challenges and that people can find the period quite stressful.
During a month where energy, money and ‘happy appearances’ are overstretched, unhealthy food and alcohol tend to be readily available. It’s understandable if your mental health can tend to fluctuate.
Things can be challenging if you have lost a loved one, or about to commence divorce proceedings, if you’re unhappy at work, or living on your own for the first Time.
Often disputes with your family or relatives can ignite when you’re compelled to spend more time with them.
Here’s how to survive the Christmas season this month without it weighing down on your Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Seek Help and Ask for Support
Arguably one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year can be the run-up to the festive break. You’re facing clearing the workload on your desk to achieve your bosses’ deadlines. Don’t be afraid to seek help and be realistic with what you are capable of producing.
Evaluate your workload, review everything you’ve got to do. Set a list of priorities and identify what really has to be done before the festive break and what can be deferred until you return. If you don’t have time to get everything done before you go on leave, speak to your manager to discuss solutions.
For any new job requests that hit your in-tray, don’t feel obliged to take on these tasks. Manage other people’s expectations about when you can realistically complete the task. To your relief, they may not have sight of your workload nor aware of your current schedule, deadlines and priorities.
Take Time Out
Ensure that you take breaks away from your desk or workstation. Exercise and regular breaks throughout the day are essential for your mental health as well as physical health. A good guideline is to aim for 90 minutes of work cycles throughout the day (Ultradium Rhythm) followed by 20 minutes of rest.
You may want to consider, asking for flexible working. National Christmas Jumper Day Friday 13th December, office parties, lots of fun and distractions. Schedule all office activities in your diary in advance so that you can carefully navigate your way through this period.
Don’t be a humbug or party pooper coming up with excuses why you can’t attend. Manage your working day, come in early or come in later and get your work done in quieter periods. Many employers are also allowing employees to work from home, find out if this available for you.
Christmas and New Year
If you’re working between Christmas and the New Year, have a list of Duty Managers or people that you can contact should you require any assistance. The office tends to be less busy, staffing levels lower, and some people enjoy working at this time of year due to fewer distractions therefore can more work done. You can also use this time to catch up on projects and that dreaded admin.
Relax, unwind and enjoy. Make sure you treat yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family, try not to ponder and think about what’s going on at work, a more challenging prospect is not to talk about work.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT
Check your work emails unless it’s essential. If you have to check, restrict the number of times and consider turning off the notifications.
Health & Wellbeing
If you don’t have an exercise routine, try not to over-indulge on unhealthy food or drink. It’s vital to use your holiday to relax and unwind but trying to stay active should make returning to work less worrying.
Plan your Return
- Create a list and prioritise important tasks, so you know what you will need to do on your return.
- It’s advisable to leave a couple of days free of meetings and deadlines so you can hit the ground running on the first day back.
- If you created a checklist of tasks carried forward to the New Year, make an immediate start to gain momentum.
- Whether you’re returning to work the day after Boxing Day or have decided to take a longer break, don’t let your usual routine slip too much.
Hopefully, these tips will help you return to work fully refreshed and energised.
I wish you a lovely festive break!
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