With the Christmas countdown now on, balancing the inevitable rush of work deadlines and juggling life and family commitments before the summer holidays can be stressful. After another year of lockdowns and uncertainty, many of us feel we are crawling to the finish line.
If that’s you, here are six tips to help you manage your energy levels, switch off and get ready for summer fun.
1. Prioritise ruthlessly
In the lead up to holidays, prioritise your day ruthlessly and be cautious about what you say ‘yes’ to.
It can be easy to accept every social invitation or underestimate how long a piece of work may take and set unrealistic deadlines leading to unnecessary stress.
2. Don’t skimp on time
Holidays are not just about having fun. They are essential for your mental health and well-being.
Mini-breaks are great, but longer breaks (beyond a week) are much better for providing time to rest, decompress and recharge. It’s during an extended downtime that you get the chance to reconnect with friends and family and to reflect on life, where you are going and what you want to do next.
3. Set boundaries
Completely switching off from work takes discipline. If you consistently check emails and respond to work requests, you deny yourself the opportunity to have a real break. As well, you are creating a pattern of behaviour for yourself and those around you. Your boss or team will start to expect a response. So before your break, set boundaries with yourself and agree on the protocols with your boss and colleagues about how you will handle calls and emails for urgent issues.
4. Shake it off
One of the best things you can do to leave your work year behind is to exercise. Get the blood pumping and those endorphins zinging through your body. Use the holiday period to try something you haven’t done before. It might be a dance class, a different type of yoga or a new running or walking track. If regular exercise isn’t something you usually do, then set the goal to get your body moving every day.
5. Embrace going slow
It can be easy to be busy, busy, busy and rush everywhere. Deciding to ‘go slow’ in a world that rewards busyness is much more challenging. So be deliberate. During your holiday, don’t overbook your schedule. Select days to have nothing scheduled and an empty ‘to do’ list. Embrace a more spontaneous approach to your holiday. Wake up and see what you feel like doing each day.
6. Build healthy sleep habits
The health risks associated with a lack of sleep are well documented. So too is the impact that inadequate sleep has on our cognitive thinking. If you’ve been burning the midnight oil and your sleep patterns are erratic, use the holiday period to get your sleep habits on track. Establish a nightly routine to help you wind down. Then, aim to go to sleep at a similar time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. As you get ready to chill out, relax, go slow and say ‘no’ to too much activity, remember the words of the author, Maya Angelou, who said: “Nothing will work unless you do”.
Taking action to rest and recharge isn’t a waste of time. It’s the perfect use of your time. So use your holiday wisely, and you’ll be ready to make 2022 your best year yet!