The holidays are a time of celebration, joy, and family. They are also a time of stress for many people who have to deal with long workdays, Christmas shopping, cooking holiday meals, attending kids’ plays and school concerts, catching the flu or other illnesses during this cold season . . . the list goes on.
If you’re like us, this time of year can be a little overwhelming. Between the ever-growing to-do list and the constant pressure to spend money on gifts for friends and family that we don’t really feel like giving (I’m looking at you Secret Santa!), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It is especially hard to stay healthy and happy at this time of year. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult!
People need to give themselves permission to cut themselves some slack. We are probably all feeling overworked and overwhelmed and in desperate need of a break. With the stressors of the past two years combined with the pressures of returning to office work and maintaining obligations with family, everyone needs a break now more than ever. Don’t feel guilty about asking for or accepting some help around this time of year! You cannot be everything and do everything on your own – it’s okay if someone else cooks dinner while you relax after a long day at work.
Give yourself permission to pre-order your holiday gifts online. Sometimes, it’s much easier to order gifts from Amazon or LL Bean and avoid battling the Black Friday crowds at the mall and big box stores. Holiday shopping can be one of the most challenging and frustrating parts of the holiday season. Spending hours combing through racks in department stores and elbowing your way through angry crowds is difficult for the most competent shopper. Your family and friends will love their gifts just as much whether you purchase them in person or online. Ordering a pre-cooked meal for that holiday dinner or picking up cookies from your local bakery can make those holiday events just a bit less stressful.
If you are in a leadership role, help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance during the holiday season by promoting wellness in the workplace, offering flex days to allow for family time, and helping plan ahead with scheduling. Instead of waiting for your employees to come to you to ask for time off, employers should be proactive. Send an email out to employees letting them know that it is okay to take an afternoon off to attend their child’s holiday play or take them to a holiday event. Showing them you understand and appreciate their personal obligations can and will make a big difference in stress levels — and that always translates to higher productivity in the long run!
Everyone needs permission to take some much needed down time during this time of year. If you are feeling exhausted or stressed out at work around the holidays, it is okay for you to take a day off to be with friends or family, or just take some time to yourself to relax! Employers can support this by providing mental health and wellness resources for their employees, especially around the holidays. During the holidays, a little kindness goes a long way!