Christmas can be a crazy time of year, not just for the getting presents and getting everything done in time, but often it seems that work deadlines tend to fall around now.
Everybody wants everything urgently wrapped up before the New Year. It seems the mayhem of Christmas spreads into the workplace and before you know it you’re left with too many imposing deadlines and requests.
From working in marketing for 15 years, I know all too well the demands in the run up to Christmas.
Here are some ways to help you prevent Christmas burnout:
Take breather breaks through the day. Often the days can run away with us without us taking a moment to check in with ourselves. Get into the habit of regularly going to the toilet to just take a minute to breath in and out. Literally focusing on your breath, with an outer longer breath, helps re-calibrate your system and calm your frayed nerves, making you more effective in busy times.
Set boundaries and practice saying no
This goes for in and out of work. Practice saying no in the mirror. Are there projects that can be moved until the
New Year? Are there things you can delegate to others? Often when we are in a busy work situation we can lose our perspective and rush from one crisis to another. In work it can be trickier to set boundaries as we can feel our job depends on it. But if you are regularly feeling up against it with work deadlines and regularly working late, it may be worth asking yourself if this is just a busy time or all the time. If it is all the time, perhaps it is worth thinking about what you want longer term, as continued levels of stress impact who we are and the life we are wanting
Bring music into your days as a way of connecting into the calmer parts of you. Perhaps there are certain songs that remind you of a great holiday or a time in your life when life flowed and felt chilled. Listening to songs
that connect us into different parts of us help us bring different parts of us forward and remind us of who we are at our core. It helps us feel calmer and more able to use those other parts of us
Make your heart sing
Every day do something, anything, to bring moments of joy through into your life- it helps make life feel more worth living. Positive emotions (through doing anything nice) builds our resilience bank. Whether that’s stopping for a coffee at your favourite café on the way to work, taking the slightly longer way to work so you walk through a park and see nature around you or having some colourful flowers on your desk to brighten your day.
Be aware of energy sappers
Our energy is often depleted towards the end of the year as it is but there are some people and situations that can deplete our already empty reserves. Be aware of how you feel around certain people. Gossip, office politics, feeling on edge and being around certain people deplete our energy. Start noticing the people and situations that make you feel lower in energy, tired or not quite right and avoid them if possible. This can be challenging if it’s your manager who is depleting your energy. If there is no way to avoid the energy sapper, when being around them start breathing and feeling your breath in your stomach- our area of strength and protection.
It can also help to imagine you have a bubble of protection around you in tough situations that allows only good things through and repels the negative.
This can be a challenging one in the midst of busyness but asking yourself ‘Will this matter in a year from now?’ helps you get perspective on the looming deadline / many work requests. Often things get blown out of
proportion – life will go on regardless. Thinking if this will happen in a year from now helps you put things in focus as to whether you need to bust a gut for it.
Pare down out of work activities until you come to a quieter time
At weekends have ‘nothing time’ to recharge, be quiet, connect in with nature and who you are at your core.
Have a tech free evening
This can often be a challenging one with emails pinging through from work and an expectation for an answer but try one night a week switching off the phone and TV and spend time on off line activities. This all helps your frayed nerves recharge but also helps you hear your inner voice more clearly.
Do something physical to get back into your body
This can be as simple as a few stretches or a walk round the block. Wiggling our fingers and toes and bringing awareness to our bodies helps us get out our minds. Christmas is a time of year when nerves and tensions get frayed and we can feel like we are running on empty. Hard as it can be, now is the time for looking out for you and putting things in place so that you’re not running on empty and can enjoy not dread this time of year.
About the author
Jennifer Boon is an experienced life coach who has just published her first book Survive & Thrive: Dating and Being Single. To find out more go to: www.booncoaching.com