How to go in to the Christmas break stress-free

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” – Andy Williams

If this is your final week at work before the Christmas holidays then you may feel like you’re slowly crawling toward that finish line.

The combination of late nights, drinking alcohol, attending school nativities, seeing relatives, buying presents, finishing that project etc. can leave us feeling frazzled. It can also mean we can go in to the holidays not in the best mindset to first, let go of work and second, enjoy the hols!

Here are a four things to help you end this week on a high and ultimately, savour your well-earned break:

1) Go for a short walk during your lunch breaks this week. In an article by the American Psychological Association, they suggest that “even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours”. This stems from

something called the Conservation of Resources Theory, developed by Dr Stevan Hobfoll, which suggests a person’s energy and mental agility can be restored by spending time and energy on things like taking a walk. You might like this sketchnote (see right) showing the other four tips from the article.

2) Put your out-of-office on but before you leave, reflect on and note down three things you achieved this week. These don’t have to be massive things. It could be as simple as having made a phone call to a client that you’d been putting off. Not only does taking the time to reflect on the positive things we’ve done give us a bit of a boost, it can also help us with future performance as a study by Harvard Business School shows.

3) Show appreciation to a colleague by sending them a thank you note. Key is to be specific in your feedback – what are you thanking them for and why? As this article in Psychology Today suggests, showing gratitude to others can leave us feeling happier.

4) Plan your first day back in the office. What are the three key things you want to get done that day? Block out time in your calendar to do those things. That’s your to-do list done. This frees up your brain to focus on the things that matter – quality time with your family and friends, getting some rest and just enjoying the break.

Did you find this post helpful? I’d love to know, so Tweet me, or drop me a note on LinkedIn. If you have any colleagues that you feel should read this, too, please share it with them. I’d really appreciate it.

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