Christmas is meant to be a time to relax and be merry, but, if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t often work out that way.
In fact, Christmas can become manic – with the presents and the parties, the food and booze and of course, the family arguments.
If you do get some time off over the Christmas period, it’s a real chance to recharge your batteries and get your energy back after a long year.
But most people waste that opportunity.
That’s why we’ve written this blog – on how to take a chill pill, this Christmas.
1. Unplug yourself
Christmas is a time for family and fun – so it’s always a good idea to switch off your phone and ignore your work email. (Easier said than done I know.)
Maintaining a work-life balance is so important.
Create an autoresponder that states when you’ll be back in to work so colleagues don’t feel neglected, but don’t feel obliged to work through the holiday just because other people want to.
You deserve a break.
2. Trust your colleagues
If you’re taking time off work – and other people aren’t – it can be easy to feel a loss in control and worry that everything is going to crumble.
You work with great people, so remind yourself that the whole company won’t collapse if you’re not there.
Don’t pop in to the office when you’re passing by.
Don’t call and see if there’s anything they need you for and don’t email to make sure everything is under control.
If they really need you, they’ll get in touch.
But rest assured that your colleagues can survive without you.
That’s a good thing, don’t get paranoid about it.
3. Get your shopping done early
It’s probably not just work that’s driving you a bit loopy this festive season.
Leaving Christmas shopping etc. till the very last minute is just going to add to your overwhelm.
Shop early and buy online if you have to make sure you’re not panicking about the Amazon package landing in time.
In fact, why not give yourself a target date to have all of your presents wrapped and ready? (20th is a good shout).
Then you can chill for the duration of Christmas.
The same goes for Christmas food shopping.
Don’t run out on Christmas eve expecting to find a turkey! You’re just asking for stress!
4. Make a schedule
You should plan your Christmas like you would any work-related project or event.
Give yourself (and others!) goals and create a schedule so you can reach them all.
That way you won’t find yourself dragged from pillar to post as you try and keep your family happy at the expense of your own mental health.
Do make sure to schedule in some fun (and family) time too!
5. Give yourself a day off
It might sound a little absurd, giving yourself a holiday from your holiday, but often, the Christmas season becomes a juggling act where you have to make everyone else happy.
So give yourself a break!
Now your definition of pampering might be totally different to mine, but do something that makes you happy.
That could be a day at a spa, or it could just as easily be a major league gym session.
You could even set aside an entire day to play video games or binge on Netflix.
Whatever makes you happy!
6. It’s OK to say no
At Christmas, EVERYBODY wants to party.
Everyone wants to catch up and everyone wants to drain your time.
But you can’t do everything! (Remember what I said about giving yourself a break…)
Look at your schedule and understand that you only have a set amount of time.
If you want to meet a friend, then consider a coffee date while you’re shopping rather than a full-on night out that will wipe out part of the next day.
7. What about a holiday?
Not everybody has a huge family or a constant whirlwind of social engagements.
If that’s you, then don’t sit at home and feel down about it. And don’t just plough on with work!
Why not think about taking a short holiday?
You can score some outrageous last-minute deals if you shop around and it could be cheaper than the party season in the long run.
You could discover a new country, enjoy a city break or even really push the boat out and go long-haul for some winter sun.
Revel in the envy of your friends as you post beachside Christmas dinner shots on social media, order a fancy cocktail and kick back, safe in the knowledge that everybody hates you right now.
8. Commit to a healthier lifestyle
New Year’s resolutions have become a running joke, so it’s a good idea to get started early and commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Hit the gym, buy a blender and work juices into your daily diet or even get a home gym or a treadmill. If you’re struggling to think of a gift you want, one of these could work well for you.
Even if it’s a small step in the right direction, like a daily walk or 50 push-ups, then you’ll seriously feel the benefit in the long run.
This will give you a bigger boost than a week in the Caribbean over the course of the year.
If you start this commitment, before the New Year, you’re more likely to keep the habit up when you get January blues.
And if you want to make it fun, you can even check out these 10 Unusual Ways to Burn Christmas Calories… Specifically for the festive season!
Christmas can turn into a warzone, but only if you let it.
Think about your priorities, plan them out and make it happen. Also, make sure you use this chance to recharge your batteries and even start a healthier regime.
Do that and you’ll hit the ground running in 2018. But for now, take a break. You earned it.
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