The holidays are upon us, which means most of us are counting down the days until we can sit back, relax and enjoy time with family. However, before indulging in holiday festivities, most people need to complete what may seem like a never-ending list of work projects. With deadlines looming, it’s important to minimize your stress levels to optimize productivity heading into your vacation time. Here are a few tips for managing stress in the workplace during the holiday season.
- Plan ahead. Do you already know which days you are taking off? If so, make a list of your anticipated projects and prioritize the tasks that are the most time-sensitive. Taking the time to map out your schedule for the remaining days will help you see the big picture heading into your time off.
- Breathe: Sounds simple, right? When facing deadlines and checking items off your to-do list, it can be easy to forget to take a moment to breathe. If you’re going into a workday with several projects in the queue, consider taking a short break at the top of each hour. If you don’t have a standing workstation, get up from your desk, take a deep breath and walk around the office. Taking this time to free your mind could be the refresher you need to stay sharp throughout the day.
- Exercise: Whether it’s a short walk outside or a jog during lunch hour, exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress during the day. According to Healthline, physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and improve blood flow, which helps your brain produce more endorphins. As a result, morale can greatly improve, making the work day more enjoyable.
- Make a playlist. Music has different effects on different listeners, but it can be a great motivator for many during the workday. If you are about to begin a longer project and don’t find music distracting, consider making a playlist with some of your favorite holiday music. With the right playlist, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and productive, all the while getting in the holiday spirit!
- Work together. When preparing for your own vacation time, it can be easy to forget your coworkers are also taking time off during the holidays. Everyone has deadlines to meet, and you’re likely going to be working together on many projects. Take the time to discuss each other’s schedules and specific responsibilities on projects to ensure everyone is on the same page. The last thing you want is extra stress and confusion due to miscommunication.
The holidays are all about relaxing and spending time with the people you love most. The last thing you need is lingering work on your mind during this time. Keep these tips in mind as you wrap up 2017 to ensure you are enjoying your time away from the office this holiday season.