Happy holidays! We are in prime-time holiday season with shopping, wrapping, carols, food, classic movies and TV shows, and twinkling lights surrounding us most moments of the day. Even if you love the season, it’s a lot to take in all at one time. And soon your family and friends will be gathering for Christmas, which may also be adding to the mental overload of the holidays.
Whether you get time off this time of the year or not, it can be difficult to truly unplug and relax. Especially if your work connects you with colleagues from around the world who may not observe the same holiday season as in the United States. Emails still come in, phones are still ringing, and projects still need finishing. In today’s world where work email and phone are often connected to your personal cell phone, it’s nearly impossible to separate yourself from your professional life.
If you are on the job hunt, it can be an even more stressful time of year. It’s easy to spend every waking moment searching through the postings and contacting potential employers. While it’s a good endeavor, it’s exhausting. Taking a break for a couple of days won’t result in a missed opportunity. Most employers will be off around this time anyway, so that extra application and follow up email can be put on hold for a few days.
Another big culprit for holiday stress is social media and the news. This constant information dump can take a toll on our energy and our ability relax. When scrolling through our feeds, it’s easy to be stressed, anxious, worried, and discontent.
Even though it’s difficult to unplug, it’s important for our physical and mental health. Why not take a break from all of it for a few days. A detox from technology and work will leave us refreshed and refueled for the New Year.
So here’s your challenge this holiday season - be intentional about unplugging. Even if it’s just for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, take steps to “turn off” your work to relax and enjoy time with family and friends without interruption.
Here are a few easy steps you can take to truly unplug this holiday season:
Go to the settings in your mobile phone and turn off your work email. It should be a simple toggle switch that you can flip back on when you’re ready to get back to work.
Send out an email to your team and clients stating that you will not be reachable during a specific time period. Also, set the out of office on your work email so those that forget will be reminded!
Get all of your work projects wrapped up before the holidays. If that’s not possible, put together a strategic plan for completion that includes at least a couple of days for downtime.
If you use your phone as your camera, turn on airplane mode and turn off the wifi. Or better yet, grab an “old fashioned” camera and leave your phone out of sight.
What would you add to the list? Comment below and let us know how you are unplugging this holiday season.