Make space for the holidays
If you’ve had your nose to the grindstone for most of the year, you’re probably more than ready for a well-deserved break – but when you’re used to being in work mode, it can be difficult to step back and give yourself the space to unwind. At the same time, it’s important that you let your mind and body recharge, particularly if you want to go into the new year feeling rested and refreshed.
So, what can you do to take your mind off work and get into the holiday spirit?
1. Plan ahead
If you plan accordingly and delegate where necessary, you’ll feel much more confident to shut off your PC and head out of the office come holiday time. So ask a well-placed colleague to keep an eye on things while you’re gone, make some handover notes, and remember that your work will still be there when you get back.
2. Switch off so you can switch off
Reading work emails while you’re on leave is guaranteed to jolt you out of holiday mode. If you have work email or social media accounts on your phone, remove them for the duration of your break. Remember that your brain needs this down time, so rather stay focused on your holiday bestseller than on what’s going on at the office.
3. Do a digital detox
While you’re at it, consider removing your personal social media accounts too. Keeping up with current events and Twitter twars is not particularly conducive to unwinding, so delete the apps from your phone for the holidays. If you’re really worried about being out of the loop, set aside 10 minutes in the morning to catch up on what’s happening and then log off for the rest of the day.
4. Get outdoors
According to a 2018 survey by contact lens brand Acuvue, office workers spend almost 1 700 hours in front of a computer each year. So, try to spend plenty of time outdoors during your holiday – visit a local park or botanical garden, explore some hiking trails, go to the beach, have a picnic, or take the dog for a walk.
And in case you need a bit of extra encouragement, consider that a 2019 University of Michigan study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that “Taking at least twenty minutes out of your day to stroll or sit in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels.”
5. Get some rest
You’re likely to have a few late nights during the festive season, but for the most part try get plenty of sleep. Here are some tips to help you get good quality shut-eye: avoid having caffeine from late-afternoon onwards, try to go to bed at the same time each night, banish digital devices from the bedroom, and keep your room temperature fairly cool.