Work Life balance during the holiday season

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Is it possible to achieve a healthy balance between work and life at this busy time of year? We talk you through some strategies for stress management during the holidays to help you put the“me” in “merry” and survive the holidays.

Finding the right balance between work and life is difficult at the best of times. In the season of goodwill, it can be even harder than usual. With so many extra social pressures, the time and financial pressures of gift buying and the expectation of seasonal good cheer meeting an “always on” mindset, it’s a wonder any of us keep our sanity at this time of year.

To help you maintain a good work/life balance this holiday season, the Blueprint team has compiled four simple but essential strategies for surviving the season with a smile!


#1. Choose the holiday period you want

Writing in Forbes magazine, Bryan Robinson reminds us, “Don’t let the seduction of the holiday season cause you to relinquish your personal power. Avoid the hustle, materialism and commercialization instead of letting it sweep you off your feet or contaminate the true meaning and enjoyment of this time of year.”

He asserts that it’s important to “Celebrate the season in the way that’s meaningful to you – the kind of holiday you want, not the kind merchandisers want you to have.” Be honest with yourself about what you want from the season – and put boundaries in place so it can happen.


#2. Practice the art of saying “no”

Bryan introduces the idea of building “holiday cushions” around activities, so you don’t over commit and give yourself space to breathe.

He says, “Know where to draw the line so you’re not constantly rushing, and you can enjoy the festivities without being ‘hustled and holidazed’. If you’re feeling pressure from family or friends to get together, buy more gifts, or cook more food, be able to say no to stressful demands and make a conscious effort to slow down and take breaks during activities.”


#3. Taking care of yourself is a selfless act

Remember the old truism that “you can be more selfless in life if you are first a little bit more selfish!”. Dr Debbie Grammas, a Houston-based psychologist, told Forbes magazine, it’s like “Being told while on an airplane to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting another. If we pass out, we aren’t going to be any good to anyone else.”

Don’t let your usual self-care and exercise regimens slip. Be intentional. Schedule time to check in with yourself. Cultivate gratitude. You might even adopt a seasonal mantra to get you through the holiday period. You got this!

#4. If you are experiencing negative emotions, try to understand why

Harvard Health recommends calling regular “timeouts” to check in on your feelings or write them down in a journal. It says, “For some people, negative emotions might be unrealistic expectations or goals of themselves around the holidays or from feeling overwhelmed.”

It recommends that you readjust your goals, so they are specific and attainable. If this means lowering your expectations, lower your expectations. Be kind to yourself as well as others.