The holiday season is a time of celebration and tradition. However, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. After all, with so much going on, it’s easy to forget that the season is supposed to be filled with peace and goodwill.
To help you get through the holidays stress-free and still remain productive at work, we’ve compiled some tips to stay healthy and productive this holiday season.
The holidays are filled with traditions that mark special moments in our lives. But for many people, these happy celebrations are also fraught with stressors that make them feel like they take more from the season than they give.
So if you feel like you’re losing more than you gain from this time of year, read on for eight ways to stay healthy and productive during the holidays:
Make a to-do list and stick to it.
As you become busier during the holidays, it can be easy to get off track and forget what really matters.
To keep yourself on track, make a list of all the things you need to accomplish, and then prioritize the items on that list by importance and urgency.
When you have a clear picture of what needs to get done, it’s easier to stay focused on the important tasks and on the things that don’t really matter.
Make time for self-care
Taking time for self-care doesn’t mean you’re being selfish—it means you’re taking care of yourself so you have the energy and resources to take care of others.
When you take care of yourself, you are better able to be there for those around you. And since the holidays bring with them a higher level of stress, it may be even more important to find ways to relax and de-stress.
Some ideas for taking care of yourself during the holidays include setting aside time for daily exercise, getting enough sleep, limiting the amount of caffeine you consume, eating a balanced diet, and setting aside time to engage in activities you enjoy.
Take care of your body with exercise and good nutrition.
There’s no better way to feel more energized and grounded than good nutrition and exercise.
During the holidays, when stress is higher, it’s even more important to make sure you are eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, release endorphins, and boost your mood.
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for chronic diseases—and regular exercise is even more important during the holidays when many people tend to over-indulge.
If you are trying to get in shape for the holidays, remember to start your exercise program well in advance so that you have ample time to build up your exercise tolerance and increase your fitness level.
Don’t forget to take time to breathe, meditate, and relax.
Taking care of your body extends beyond diet and exercise—it also includes the importance of taking time each day to relax.
There are many ways you can relax and de-stress, such as daily meditation, reading, listening to music, or taking a walk. Whatever methods of relaxation you choose, be sure to include them in your daily routine.
Stay connected with those you love
There’s nothing more important than maintaining your relationships with the people you love. This means staying in touch with friends and family members by phone and/or email, and making time for in-person visits when possible.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by work and social obligations, use the available communication methods to keep in touch with important people in your life.
And don’t forget to take time to connect with loved ones during the holidays. If you have children, make sure to have plenty of time to play with them and stay connected with their world.
And if you have a significant other, make sure to have plenty of time to spend with him or her—and don’t forget to go on a date.
Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to feelings of exhaustion during the day and night sweats.
If you want to preserve your health and well-being, you need to make it a rule to turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime. This includes your phone, computer, and TV.
There are even apps that can turn off your phone after a certain time. Try using the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone or installing an app like “App Detox” or “Screen Time” to help you turn off your phone and electronic devices when you are trying to sleep.
Reduce your workload before the holidays
If you are working with a tight deadline leading up to the holidays, you may find yourself in a bind. To prevent yourself from getting buried under an insurmountable workload, make sure you have ample time to complete your work before the holidays begin.
If you are working on a tight deadline, try to get as much done before the holidays as possible. It’s also a good idea to discuss your workload with your supervisor so that you don’t find yourself in a position where you have to make unrealistic deadlines or put in extra hours during the holidays.
If you have a lot to do and a short amount of time in which to do it, make sure to prioritize your tasks and focus on getting your highest-priority items done first.
If you have a lot on your plate at work, it’s important that you communicate this to your supervisor or colleagues. Don’t try to hide the fact that you have a lot of work; instead, let them know what’s on your plate, and ask for assistance as needed.
Before the holidays arrive, take a look at your schedule and see what you can reduce or eliminate.
There’s no guarantee that the holidays will be less stressful. In fact, many people find that the holidays are more stressful than other times of the year.
If you want to reduce your risk of becoming overwhelmed, start by reducing the number of commitments you have before the holidays arrive.
This can include reducing the number of extracurricular activities you’re involved with, ending a rollercoaster relationship, or letting go of toxic friends and relationships.
By taking these eight tips into consideration, you can ensure a more enjoyable holiday season and better health and productivity throughout your life.