The holiday season is upon us and many readers will be feeling the strain financially, physically and emotionally. While it can be a fun time, with lots of social events and activities, it can also be draining and tiring, especially if we don’t take care of ourselves and apply some basic rules.
At this time of year, many of us are distracted. We keep busy juggling many different activities and tasks as we strive to get everything done on time and aim to please co-workers, family and friends. It’s easy to overlook the need for “me time,” or to appreciate the value of it. Time out from your regular routine and the additional festive activities and workload can help you relax and recharge your energy levels; however, you like to do that. Whilst it can be a challenge to take this time, it’s important to check you’re taking care of your own needs and wellbeing. It’ll help you maintain your stamina, not to mention your sense of humour, throughout this busy month.
Here are seven more reminders to help you stay balanced and avoid adding unnecessary stress:
• Go easy on yourself to avoid burnout. Prioritize what’s most important; what really matters. Set boundaries and let others know what these are. If needs be, think about what you can say “No” to and give yourself permission to do just that.
• Check your expectations, of yourself and others — are they realistic? After all, remember you are in control of setting your own expectations and standards. Many of us have unrealistic expectations and then feel justified in feeling bad when they’re not met.
• Keep a “to do” list handy. Prioritize the list — what’s important for today/tomorrow. What can carry over to next week? What can you delegate, or dump?
• Plan your day and allocate “free” time to allow for flexibility and change. Don’t schedule every half hour in the day, or else you risk ending up in crisis.
• Get some fresh air and exercise, daily. Your energy level will increase and you’ll find it easier to focus and keep pace with the workload.
• Remember to appreciate — reflect on what you’re grateful for, e.g. what you’ve achieved, where you live/work, who you are, the people you have around you.
• Go easy on yourself if you don’t get around to doing everything you planned or hoped to finish. It’s easy to be critical of yourself and think you’re not good enough. You are.
Enjoy the holidays and remember to give to yourself as well as others.
Hazel Morley is principal of Think Smart: Training and Coaching with Change in Mind. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.