Everyone’s to-do list during the holidays seems to be pages long. You have to mail out holiday cards, buy gifts for your friends, family and co-workers, bake Christmas cookies, organize the house for guests, etc. That holiday stress can often transfer to the office, which doesn’t make for a productive or motivating environment. Here are a few ways you can beat that anxiety at work:
When you get a handle on exactly what you have to do for the day, you’ll feel more in control of your work and your time. Create a list of priorities when you get into work so you know what you have to accomplish by the end of the day. Manage your time accordingly by avoiding distractions such as social media.
Take time for yourself
Getting work done at the office is important, but it’s just as vital that you take some time for yourself during the day to breathe and de-stress. Get out of the office for a bit, whether it’s for lunch or to go on a walk to get coffee. You may even want to use your lunch break to go for a run or do a quick workout. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins to boost your mood. Stepping away from your desk can put you in a clearer state of mind and leave you feeling refreshed when it’s time to go back to work.
Spread the joy
When you give a gift or put a smile on someone’s face, that cheer comes back to you, and it’s a great feeling. Bring that joy to the office by writing holiday cards for your co-workers, bringing in doughnuts for everyone one morning, or sharing a few of the cookies you made with fellow co-workers. These small gestures can create a positive environment and boost your mood, making it easier to ward off stress.
Don’t overextend yourself
There’s only so much one person can do in a work day, so don’t let an unfinished to-do list stress you out. If it’s past 5 p.m., but you keep getting emails, it’s important to know where to draw the line and simply call it a day. Bringing work home with you only creates more stress. Be productive and get done what you can during the day.
The holidays offer many opportunities to indulge. There’s always cookies, candy canes, peppermint bark, etc. While these items are OK to enjoy in moderation, don’t fill up on them at work. They will only leave you with a sugar crash later and you’ll feel sluggish. Instead, keep your body appropriately fueled with healthy snacks to boost performance, like an apple and peanut butter or hummus and fresh veggies.
Decorate your desk
Get your desk in the holiday spirit by adding some Christmas decorations. Place an advent calendar near your computer to give you something to look forward to, add a scented holiday candle like pine or apple cinnamon, or wrap a few strands of colored lights around your desk. Put on a playlist of your favorite holiday tunes as you work. All of these holiday decorations are there to remind you what’s really important, which can come in handy when you’re dealing with an unhappy client or working on a big project.
Plan a happy hour
Everyone at your office is probably in the same boat during the holiday season, so why not plan a brief happy hour after work hours? You’ll have something to get excited about during the day, and happy hour is a great way to get to know those who you work with on a daily basis.