Just Where Did The Year Go? Tips to Balance Your Work and Home Life During the Holidays
By Christina Ellis
The Work-life balance is always a struggle for most and with the holiday season in mid-swing, we are presented with several new brands of stress while still trying to juggle a successful career and an involved family. This time of year, there seems to be very little time to stay late at the office or finish up a project over the weekend. If you are like me, even your lunch breaks are filled with online shopping or quick trips to the store.
The holidays are a social time of year and everyone wants to be able to enjoy their friends and family and be filled with enough holiday spirit to last them the whole year. Unfortunately, our jobs don’t take a six week break while we allow ourselves to be consumed by the holiday warm fuzzies. In fact, for many people, this time of year is unbelievably hectic. The American Psychological Association shows up to 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time” during the holiday season.
Whether you are an employee, business owner, or stay at home mom, here are some tips to help avoid or reduce stress this holiday season.
1. Prioritize your to-do list.
Decide what HAS to be done now or in the next couple of weeks and put that at the top of your list. Anything you have going on in 2013 can wait till the new year. Even if it’s something that excites you like planning a vacation to de-stress from your holiday stress.
2. Prioritize your holiday activities.
This season can become so crowded with work and family activities, even Superman/woman would be hard-pressed to not become completely overwhelmed. The easy answer is to prioritize according to what’s important to you and your family. If seeing your child be sugar plum fairy #32 in the school play is the most important thing to you on a particular day, then put that ahead of all else and don’t feel guilty. Most other responsibilities can wait until another day.
Rethink your tendency to do everything for everyone no matter how much your mind will try to stop you. Be creative and think about how you can complete normal tasks differently. Just the other day my husband was looking for the sponge and I told him it is probably under the dishes and if he puts the dishes in the dishwasher he will probably find it. His confusion turned to annoyance when he still couldn't find the sponge. When I finally handed it to him his annoyance turned to laughter when I explained all the things I was trying to do that very moment when he needed me to help him find a sponge. The drudgery of work, chores, and errands can even become an opportunity for quality family time. I promise, your family, friends and co-workers will not think less of you for relaxing a bit this month.
4. Know when you have done enough and accept that life is an eternal work in progress.
Many of us are overachievers when it comes to work responsibilities, holiday preparation and household chores. Ease up on yourself and use the added time to relax and actually enjoy this magical season. Sometimes working two hours late at the office is not REALLY necessary; your family and friends will survive with a smaller batch of Christmas cookies and it’s MORE than ok if the lights on your house don’t compare to the Jones.. Let go of your perfectionism this time of the year. Take a breather each day to reflect on your accomplishments and enjoy everything and everyone around you because it only comes one a year!!
Sr. Engineering Recruiter