The holidays are a time when stress levels run on high. From money worries to family tensions, from work party glitches to the inability to get desired time off, some people don’t need much more than a Christmas traffic jam, a long line for the restroom, or a funny look from a coworker to snap. This is a time of year when family issues can bleed into work time, and work commitments can seem to take away from family time.
To survive this busy week between Christmas and New Year’s, make sure that your work-life balance is in order. This year, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day both fall over the weekend, so that simplifies the work-life balance challenge a little bit. To gear up for the big holiday weekend ahead, keep it simple at work, and keep it simple at home. If you need to give yourself a mini-vacation from entertaining and washing dishes, allow yourself to buy some paper plates and take-out. When you have had a little time to relax, then start making your big weekend plans.
Work-Life Balance Tips for the Holidays
1. Don’t Try To Do It All
Decide on your holiday priorities in advance, and stick to those. As a recent Wall Street Journal article recommends, don’t let others make you feel guilty about how you choose to spend the holiday season. It may be too late to simplify your Christmas commitments, but it is not too late to pare down on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day plans if you are feeling overcommitted and exhausted. Start the new year off right by prioritizing your own time to recharge. Trying to please everyone often backfires and makes you cranky in the process. Don’t feel obligated to do more than you wish to do.
2. Avoid Difficult Situations
If a fight breaks out each year at Aunt Edna’s New Year’s Eve party, when the tensions are running high between exhausted family and friends who might be drinking a little too much, then you may wish to consider whether or not that is a commitment that you wish to partake in. Remember your holiday priorities, and stick to your gut feeling on what makes the list. You don’t have to choose to partake in stressful activities unless they are unavoidable work commitments. If you do decide to go, have a plan in mind for dealing with difficult people and difficult situations. Consider using tension-relieving strategies from the workplace to calm the mood. The Wall Street Journal also recommends that you “defuse the strain with distractions” as a strategy for dealing with difficult people if it appears that someone is about to blow. Being prepared with an easy card game, board game, or other holiday activity could be quite welcome, whether you are at a family gathering or a work soiree.