Five Tips to Disconnect from Work During the Holidays

family relaxing at home

The Gift of “Me Time”

As you work steadfastly to tie up the loose ends at work before the holiday break, you may be fondly thinking of the much needed 'me time' that awaits you. Though we may have good intentions, many of us end up checking emails and doing work on our vacation time. Holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends. Research shows that vacation time helps you to be more productive when you come back to work, makes you more creative, and helps you love your job more after getting some proper rest.

You deserve to enjoy some time off from the hustle and bustle. Below are five helpful tips to be able to draft that “away message” email and take some time for yourself.

1. Stay off the computer and phone!

We know it is so tempting to check our phone and emails. Try to make room for rest and relaxation by unplugging from your devices or reduce the time spent on them. This should hold for both work and personal, as you need to rest your mind.

2. If necessary, make sure that someone is covering for you at work

Be sure to arrange for a co-worker to take over any work that needs to continue moving in your absence and determine with that person what would be considered a true "emergency" and under what circumstances you must be contacted.

3. Plan a special outing or activity with family or friends

For many of us, the festive season is the one time of year when family and friends get to spend time with each other. If possible, before the actual holiday, make plans to take a trip or do some fun things at home with your family and friends. Planning ahead is always best and less stressful when the vacation is actually upon you.

4. Avoid boredom

Boredom is the easiest reason to start thinking about work projects and what lies ahead when you return. Most of us don’t think that boredom could set it when there is so much going on around the holidays. But, after a few days it can. To avoid this feeling and to make you less apt to reverting your thoughts back to work, make a “to-do” list and check things off as you go along. It could include doing some personal things for yourself, like a massage or a long walk, volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter, or decluttering a room in your home that you have been neglecting.

5. Slow down and unwind

We are all guilty of rushing from place to place, but the holidays need to be a time when you slow things down and savor the moments. This is easier said than done. Try to give yourself lots of time to get things done so that you don’t have to rush from one task to the other. Also, don’t overbook social engagements, leave some downtime for yourself.

If you are struggling with work-life balance over the holidays or anytime of the year, clinicians at our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help you work towards setting limits, scheduling personal and social time, or helping you priorities what matters most to you. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.

Remember, holidays are meant to enjoy. Work will be waiting when you return.