Heartwarming traditions often make the holiday season the favorite time of year for many people. Those traditions include:
- Picking out the perfect Christmas tree
- Posing for a family picture
- Secret gift exchanges
- Baking cookies
- Visiting with old college friends
- Travelling to visit family
This time of year can also be very demanding. Trying to carry out family traditions, as well as dealing with family drama, can be stressful and overwhelming. And don’t forget it’s your company’s year end!
If you find the holidays aren’t as fun and relaxing as they should be, here are some tips that may help bring back that holiday spirit.
1. Create a checklist. Trying to keep track of everything going on in your life is difficult. Parties, Christmas concerts, and year-end projects can be time consuming and overwhelming. Write things down or use an app to keep track of what you have to do. This can eliminate all the clutter in your brain and allow you to accomplish tasks more efficiently.
2. Follow your normal routine. It’s easy to fall out of your routine. Something has to give, right? Staying up later than usual, eating more, and skipping your workouts can affect your health and your mood. Be sure to:
- Get an appropriate amount of sleep each night;
- Continue to monitor portion size; and
- Continue to exercise.
3. Don’t take it personally. With all the demands at this time of year, friends, family, and co-workers may say things that are out of character, especially if alcohol is involved. If something hurtful was said, try not to dwell on it. More than likely, that person would not have said it under more relaxed circumstances.
4. Positive performance. Doing something fun or special at work can boost employee morale and keep performance up at this time of year.
At West Bend, our department gets together for lunch and incorporates a gift exchange with a twist. We pick names (secretly, of course) and buy a toy we believe that person would have enjoyed as a child. This inspires creativity and provides some laughs. Then all the toys are donated to a local charity.
5. Prioritize. If you have a large or blended family, trying to get to all the parties can be difficult. I don’t have a huge family, but we still have four different family parties. On top of that, your children’s weekend activities can add a challenging twist. While the conversation may be difficult and cause some tension in your family, it’s okay to occasionally decline an invitation. Remember, you need to do what’s best for you!
6. Take the high road. If the family drama starts, take the high road. Don’t let yourself be drawn into a negative conversation that may never reach a positive resolution.
7. It’s about the kids. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced family drama during the holidays. While it can be hard to sit in the same room with a certain family member, put aside your differences for the kids. Think about the excitement the holiday brings to them. Spending time with their cousins and relatives creates memories that last a lifetime.
8. Respect the in-laws. Criticizing your spouse’s family isn’t going to earn you any brownie points. It’s best to keep your comments to yourself.
9. Volunteer. Volunteering at a local charity can be an amazing experience and put things into perspective. Stressing out about making another batch of cookies or trying to figure out when to wrap gifts just isn’t that important.
10. Perspective. While it’s difficult to do, try to keep things in perspective. Something as simple as a few deep breaths may help. The holiday season comes and goes every year. Doesn’t everything usually turn out okay? Just do the best you can at work, at home, and managing relationships. And never forget about what’s important in your life and the true meaning of Christmas.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.