This time of year can very quickly swing from feeling fun and joyous to utterly stressful all in one day. Either way, it can be a tricky time of year to feel like you’ve got things in balance. Take a deep breath. It is possible to find some equilibrium and have that summer holiday feeling before Christmas! Here are some top tips from experts.
- Sllloooowwwww dooooowwwwwnnnn. Moving from one thing to another quickly doesn’t always make you more productive but it can make you feel frenzied. Pause a minute and prioritise. Assess what must be done this week, what must be done before Christmas and what actually isn’t that important? By slowing down you’ll feel better and make fewer mistakes, do it once and do it right.
- Schedule in the boring stuff. Often once we’ve cleared the mundane tasks we breathe a little easier knowing they’re done and that we can get on with the ‘big’ things. Schedule time to get them done, either in one big block or in small chunks.
- Delegate or ask for help. Think about what others may be able to help you with. What’s stressful for you may be easy for someone else. At home ask family members to step up if you can. Teenagers are almost all on holiday now, ask them to cook dinner or do the chores so you can get your work done. If you don’t have your own teenager, find one you can borrow!
- Declutter. Ok so this sounds like it's adding work to your list, but the benefits of clear space on your mental health are proven. Start with just your desk, sort out your paper piles, and clear some space. If nothing else that will save you time later searching through multiple piles. At home clear the kitchen benches and the dining table. Knowing you’ve got one clear space and (bonus!) somewhere to cook and eat not surrounded by stuff will make you feel calm and in control.
- Exercise. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. Morning workouts are one of the best ways to feel energized and prepared for your day. Even 5 minutes jogging on the spot or doing jumping jacks will get your heart rate up and have you feeling good. Whatever you do though don’t sacrifice sleep for working out.
- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep makes stress intensify so that we get caught in a vicious cycle that’s hard to break. It can be hard to stay on top of getting 8 hours a night when there are office parties and Christmas functions to attend. So keep an eye on the time when you’re socialising and try and keep to a regular bedtime as much as you can. Our blog on sleep has more helpful tips.
- Use technology well. Stop mindlessly scrolling and use your phone with intention. Keep the calendar on your diary up to date and use it, clear your emails at least daily, keeping the emails that need you to do something and deleting those that straight away. Turn your phone off at night so that you get some downtime, and even try for a little bit of time each day with your phone off. There are lots of tools and apps that can help you to be productive and there are also apps to help you slow down and relax.
- Say no. When you’re feeling maxed out, think carefully before you say yes to anything. If you’re not comfortable with a straight no, check the deadline and ask for more time if you need it. Stick within your agreed work hours so that you get some downtime. Same goes with social events, don’t feel like you have to go to everything JOMO (joy of missing out) is a thing too.