How to get the most out of your Christmas holidays
Time to read: 3-4 minutes
Whether you’ve taken time off, get to work from home, or still have to come into the office during working days, most people get some form of a break over the Christmas period. Two bank holidays sandwiched in between weekends gives us all a much-needed chance to recuperate. Not to mention, work can become a little less busy when everyone’s collectively focusing on family time.
The mini Christmas break is a great time to recharge your energy and get in the right headspace for January 2019. Recovering from work is important, not just for you but for your business. A study carried out in the Netherlands by Jessica de Bloom of Radbound University showed that “holidays contribute to ‘recovery from work’ in two ways – passively, through the process of being free from work, and actively, through engagement in non-work activities”. As de Bloom showed, it’s important to get the most out of your Christmas holidays by mixing up relaxation and fun. Here are our top tips for starting January with a rested mindset.
Put family first, but don’t forget your own needs
Family can absorb a lot of our holidays without us noticing. It’s important to reconnect during the holidays, but it’s also important to make sure you’re not drained when it’s time to get back to work. Try to make sure that for every hour you’re being rushed off your feet, you get an hour of watching no-stress Christmas films.
Try not to compulsively check your work emails
Everyone does it, you’re so used to checking work emails that it’s just a habit at this point. But to have a real break that will refresh you in time for the new year, it’s important to exercise a little control. Your eyes need a rest from bright pearlescent screens and your mind needs to actively let go of work life to be able to reboot and get the most out of this break.
Don’t offer to do everything
When aunt Mildred asks who’s going to be baking cookies with your 27 nieces and nephews, it’s okay for silence to fall. By not offering to contribute towards every single Christmas activity, you’ll make the contributions you do offer far more valuable and thoughtful. Most importantly, you’ll save yourself that stress of trying to figure out how to make cranberry sauce (for anyone who’s already volunteered, just put cranberrys, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan for about 5 minutes).
Let yourself buy little things to make you happy
It’s good to be frugal, but it’s also okay to buy cute £4 baubles to hang on the tree, no matter how many you’ve got in the attic. Buying frivolous rubbish we only use once a year is part of what makes Christmas the best, don’t feel guilty about it. It’ll help you soak up all that glittery magic, consider it an investment in your happiness.
But, don’t go overboard
The last thing you need is to reach the 27th and realise you don’t have enough money to eat. Giving presents can get us into a giving mood and it becomes easy to lose track of finances in the heat of happiness. Let yourself go but put a certain amount of money where it can’t be touched so you know you don’t have to stress about overspending.
Get Christmas shopping done before the Christmas period begins
If you’re reading this on Wednesday or Thursday, tonight’s the night. Get it done today after work and you’ll walk in tomorrow knowing you’re scot free and ready to do some hard-core relaxing. Doing it now will let you start your holidays free of undue stress and able to get into the mindset required for properly enjoying the Christmas period.
Don’t be afraid to recycle unused gift cards
On that note, research shows that since “2005 Americans have left more than $45 billion in unredeemed gift cards on the table”. Gather together all those unused gift cards from last year and take them with you. Use them to buy presents and you might have enough left over to hit the January sales 😉