Not all of us get oodles of holiday time over Christmas. For some of us it’s just the Bank Holidays and work pretty much continues throughout. So how do we find ways to switch off over Christmas when it seems such a busy time?
Regardless of how many days off you have, the Christmas season is a time to switch off – properly! It’s the middle of winter, energy is low, and the Christmas break is the closest our fast-paced culture comes to hibernation.
Some business coaches will tell you to keep going while everyone else rests. Get ahead of the game – use the time to plan for the following year. But that’s not always the best advice for you, and here’s why.
We all need time to switch off and refuel. Every learning and growth cycle includes a period of quiet, a period for rest and recuperation. It allows us to come back stronger, renewed, ready to go again.
So if you want 2018 to be your most effective, powerful, satisfying year yet, it starts now. With switching off!
Here’s 5 Ways to Switch Off over Christmas
Write down all the things on your to-do list and separate them into these categories:
- Can wait
- Don’t bother
For everything in your urgent and important sections decide when, by whom and how you are going to get it done. Set that in motion. Leave everything else, knowing it can be picked up in January.
Limit work time
We’re all guilty of checking in with work emails and calls from home or holiday. I’m not asking you to stop completely if you feel it’s necessary, but limit the times you do this. Give yourself 20 minutes each day to check in – if you must, then remember you are supposed to be resting and taking time off. Go and do that. (Often we work better and more focussed with short periods of time too, so that check-in can be more effective!)
Play is absolutely not just for children. It is an essential leadership and creativity tool. Rather than overeating and drinking then snoozing it off all Christmas, take some time to do something you truly love doing. Maybe it’s golf, swimming, baking or dancing. Even if it’s a usual walk with the dog (as I will) extend it to new places or further afield.
If you’re stuck for ideas think about what you loved doing when you were seven and try that! But give yourself time to play and have fun – and remember it’s superfood for your personal development and overall wellbeing.
Let’s not pretend that home is always a serene and peaceful environment. Make sure you have an escape pod – whether it’s time in a quiet room with a book and the radio on, insisting on doing the washing up by yourself, walking the dog on your own or a soak in the bath. Find ways to get away if the family gatherings are proving stressful.
The biggest present Christmas offers doesn’t come in shiny wrapping! These quieter days when most offices are shut or slow is a time to focus on the here and now.
Try some simple grounding techniques: plant your feet on the ground and really feel the points of contact with the floor at the heels and balls of the feet. Take deep breaths from your belly to get the oxygen flowing and enable you to release those calming chemical that I’m always talking about.
These grounding techniques will bring you into the present moment and allow you to experience what’s really happening, right now in front of you, without losing yourself in thoughts and worries up in your head.
I hope you put these into practice and have some time to relax this Christmas! You and your work will thank you for it in the New Year, I promise!
Leave a comment below and let me know what works for you, or which of these you put into place.