How to survive the holidays when you can’t take time off work

How to survive the holidays when you can’t take time off work

The holidays are about fun, family, and friendships. But that doesn’t mean that everyone gets to take a vacation from work. What can you do to survive the holidays and celebrate the season even when you’re stuck at the office?

  1. Focus on what makes you smile

    You probably aren’t thrilled to be at work. But the season can be what you make it. That’s why it’s important to decide to find joy in the little things.

    What do you love about the holidays? Is it the food, decorations, and music? Or do you enjoy the gift-giving?

    Writing down what you’re thankful for does more than keep your attitude positive. Science proves it’s good for your health and can lower stress so that you fully enjoy time away from the office.

  2. Get organized

    Organization is the ultimate survival tool for the holidays. It keeps your mind clutter-free and helps you determine where to focus energy.

    Make your usual “To-Do” list. Then, make a second “Holiday-Spirit” list of what the holidays mean to you and the experiences you’d like to have. Use the second list to evaluate whether your “To-Do” list items are truly important.

    If your “To-Do” list has plans for an elaborate holiday meal but your “Holiday-Spirit” list is focused on time with family, you’ll be able to evaluate options that will help you accomplish your goals without letting go of the things that matter most.

  3. Keep the holidays simple when you need to work

    Give yourself permission to say “no” to holiday traditions that feel overwhelming. Consider breaking with tradition if it brings more fun and meaning to the holidays.

    For example, gift-giving may be your favorite activity of the season. But, if you have more work responsibilities than usual, shopping may seem particularly draining. Consider asking adult family members to do an activity together instead of trading gifts. By exchanging your tradition for something simple you will actually save time and money.

  4. Spread the cheer

    Happiness is key to surviving the holidays even with a rigorous work pace. So, be intentional about spreading joy.

    Think about people you love. Make a photo collage of relatives and friends you want to see or call during the holiday season. Hang it up in your office so you get a visual reminder every day. Call your favorite people and let them know why you love having them in your life. Tell your coworkers what you appreciate about them. Decorate your workspace. Make every situation better by your presence.

  5. Reward yourself after work

    Giving yourself daily rewards can provide a mood boost. Come up with ideas that bring you joy:

    • Drive through town enjoying the lights
    • Hire a cleaning crew to tackle your house
    • Try pumpkin spice everything
    • Take a walk with a friend

Giving is a special part of the holidays because we instinctively know that joy multiplies when it’s shared. Share yourself and you will not only survive the holidays, you will genuinely enjoy them.