The tinsel is out, the carollers are singing, it’s nearly time to shut down the computer and log off for the year. The rush leading up to Christmas is undoubtedly demanding, so it’s crucial to take a well-deserved break to recharge and come back stronger for 2024. Switching from work to relaxation mode is often easier said than done, so the team at PDC have put together a list of tips for easing into the holidays and making your break stress-free – as it should be!
Before you bid adieu to your workspace, tidy up loose ends. Make a checklist of your pending tasks and ensure everything is in order. You’ll thank yourself when you return to a clean slate next year and will feel much better about stepping away from work for a break knowing that you’re already organised for when you get back in action.
No matter how organised you are, relaxing for the holidays likely means letting a few things go. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that everything needs to be done by closing time – but some tasks are more important than others and understanding that not every task on your to-do list needs a bow on it before Christmas is crucial for minimising stress – finishing a big project to hook a big client for the new year? Yes, finish that now. Organising the filing cabinet however can probably wait till next year. Sure, it’s helpful to have a fresh start in January, but some tasks can wait till the new year and that’s perfectly fine.
Set up a friendly auto-response to manage expectations and give yourself the digital detox you deserve. Let clients, customers, and colleagues know when you’ll be back in action and able to respond, and also set aside a few hours when you get back to catch up on emails so your inbox doesn't explode! Enabling your out-of-office message sets expectations and relieves the pressure to respond immediately – plus you can make it a little festive and fun too!
It’s tempting to still check in on emails and updates even once you’ve left the building, and often a necessity, but limiting work-related activities to specific time slots can help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and keep your break as a BREAK. Allow yourself to check in for 30 minutes in the morning or evening and address anything urgent – but remember, unless the building is literally burning down, this stuff will probably still be there for you to do when you get back!
Make sure you view your break as what it should be: a break! That means switching off work-related notifications and putting devices on “do not disturb” – your mental well-being will thank you! It’s also a great opportunity to take a break from social media, and use your holiday to spend time with loved ones free from digital distractions.
It’s a little cheesy, reflect on the true meaning of the festive season and use your break to remember what matters. It’s an opportunity to ground yourself with friends and family away from work, so get outdoors and head to the beach, maybe watch your favourite movies, or even bust out the board games. Switching off from work is different for everyone, so sleeping in, chilling in front of the tv, or blobbing on the beach could be just what you need to recharge after a year of deadlines and stress. Christmas can often get pretty hectic with family get-togethers, but make sure to take some time just for you and make the most of your time off to feel recharged for January.
While you’re unwinding, take a moment to reflect on your achievements from 2023 and think about what you’re proud of – celebrate your wins and set some positive intentions for the year ahead.
We know this is all easier said than done, but hopefully you can disconnect from work and enjoy your holidays spending time with friends and family and focusing on what matters – you!