Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

The holidays can be a particularly overwhelming and emotional time of year for many and this can interfere with one’s work. It is fairly well-known that some experience more depression and anxiety around this time of year. Financial worries, unrealistic expectations, and overwhelming responsibilities can all contribute to feeling blue. When an employee is already under stress at work, the added pressure of the holidays can be a double whammy. A drop off in productivity around the workplace can result when employees are burnt out.

The following are some tips to help manage the life/work balance during the holidays:

  1. Practice good self-care. This includes listening to your body when it may be trying to tell you that you need more rest/sleep and to eat better. This may also involve making sure you take some time for yourself.
  2. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and others. Don’t expect others to change how they are just because of the holidays. And also don’t shoot for perfection in the areas of gift-giving, entertaining and meals.
  3. Be grateful/show appreciation. Try to stay focused on the real meaning of the season. This may also include giving back to the community through charity and volunteering.
  4. Prioritize and stay organized. Doing so can greatly decrease one’s stress level. This may also involve keeping an eye on spending.
  5. Ask for help/delegate. Sharing tasks can make things seem more manageable as can breaking projects down into smaller parts.
  6. Watch your food and drink intake. Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge in food. Avoid skipping meals as this may make overeating more likely. Limit alcohol intake as it may contribute to depressed feelings.

It may also be important to remember that the blues do not automatically go away with the passing of the holidays and there will likely be a let-down once they have passed.

Utilizing your Keysolutions EAP is another helpful way to combat holiday-related stress, anxiety, and depression. Call us at 605-334-5850.

Ideas for this article were compiled from the following sources:

American Management Association (2010). Coping with holiday stress; Madell, R (2013). How to handle holiday stress at work. U.S. News & World Report; Wheeler, T. (n. d.). Manage work/life stress during the holidays. All Healthcare.

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