2021 has been a busy (and at times intense) year! We began with several months of lockdown, but as we started opening up we’ve all found more demands on our time – both personally and professionally. So this festive season, take time to recharge your batteries with our top tips, while Santa and his reindeers take on all the hard work for a bit…
Create healthy festive boundaries
Over the festive season, we really shouldn’t be glued to our work phones or emails. And while a complete ban on all work communications may not be realistic for everyone, there are healthy boundaries you can put in place that will help you (and your colleagues) enjoy time to rest and relax without worrying about what’s pinging into your inboxes.
If you need to be available, choose and communicate the hours you’ll be around, and then stick to them. Use your out of office function to be clear on which requests you’ll respond to and which non-urgent ones will be put to one side until the new year. It’s especially worth considering this if your company is global, and you’re likely to receive communications over the festive season from colleagues who might not celebrate Christmas.
Take a little time each day
As the end of the year approaches, there can be a tendency to speed up rather than slow down – particularly as we try and juggle end of year deadlines with festive parties, Christmas shopping and turkey hunting. At such a busy time of the year it can actually be beneficial for us to “force” ourselves to stop – even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. Taking a ten-minute mindfulness break, in which we disconnect from all forms of communication and just breathe, can have a huge impact on our energy levels and wellbeing. Why not schedule ten minutes into the start of each day between now and Christmas, carry on over the holiday season, and you’ll start 2022 with a healthy new habit already under your belt!
Make a list (not to Santa)
At the end of another busy year, it can be hard to switch off our minds when they’ve become programmed to juggle tasks and meet deadlines. If you feel like your mind has been racing from task to task all year you’re not alone – lots of research suggests mental exhaustion has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.
According to cognitive behavioural therapists, writing things down can help calm a racing mind – the act of doing so actually distracts the brain and immediately calms anxious thoughts. Find a quiet spot, write yourself a post-Christmas to-do list and allow yourself a set amount of time to think about each thing on it. Then put it away, acknowledging that you’ll tackle it in the new year, once you’re feeling rested and refreshed.
If you’ve found some of these tips useful, you might enjoy this month’s piece on decluttering the mind for a more productive 2022. Whether you’re able to come to a complete halt over the festive season, or you’ll need to fit in a few hours of work, we hope you and all your colleagues manage to carve out some much-needed time to relax at the end of what’s been a busy and unusual year for us all.
We’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, from all the team at Eximia. We’re taking our own advice and switching off after 23 December, and won’t be back until 4 January. With all of us having quality time off at the same time, we will come back to the new year feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your most tricky communication challenges… so bring them on!