Relaxing away from work (and particularly finding ways to unwind over Christmas) is something we all struggle with year after year. But switching off over Christmas is essential for your mental health and general well-being, so it should be achieved whichever way you can – more so than ever recently, when everything around us still seems uncertain.
As a business, we strongly advocate for turning off all work-related notifications whilst on holiday or annual leave. From our experience, it not only improves the happiness of our team, but also their productivity when returning to work, having had a proper break! A win-win for all.
As a team, we have put together our top tips for unwinding over Christmas! Enjoy…
Top tips to unwind over Christmas
- Turn your notifications off
This goes for any work-related social media accounts, communication portals (such as Teams, Webex, etc.) or any other way that colleagues can communicate with you. This probably goes without saying, but do not check emails either! If you have agreed to work, try to set boundaries. For example, we recommend putting your phone away completely when you are not supposed to be working. Some people feel reassured having their phone nearby, but it is also important to be present in the moment when you are on holiday! After all, this time last year, holiday celebrations of any kind were unthinkable.
- Make sure you plan ahead
Before you log off for Christmas, make sure you prioritise which tasks need to be completed and which ones can wait until after Christmas. This way, you will likely feel accomplished when logging off but also confident about what needs to be tackled in the New Year, putting your mind more at ease. Again, if you do have to pick up some tasks throughout the Christmas period, you should try to plan ahead. This way, you can warn family and friends about when you will be occupied.
- Get out and about!
There are lots of free things you can do for fun over Christmas. For example, beating your brother at Monopoly! But, it is also important to get out and about where you can. Especially if you have been working from home in the build-up to Christmas and/ or are preparing to do the same next year. Going for a walk-a-day blows the cobwebs away, and can really improve your mental health – as well as drag you out of that roast potato food coma! Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
- DRINK (in moderation)
Okay, this one is a bit more light-hearted. Some people find it great to have a couple of glasses of mulled wine to relax, others don’t. If drinking isn’t for you, we recommend lighting a candle, having a hot bath or shower, and having a bit of a pamper sesh. However, if you do drink, the same applies, but with a drink in hand! If you do enjoy a drink but are looking to cut it down, there are some great low alcohol/alcohol-free alternatives that can help prevent the dreaded Boxing Day hangover or going overboard. The important thing is not to feel bad about what you decide to do. Everyone’s lifestyle choices are different, and people cope with the Christmas period (and especially a Covid Christmas), and choose to unwind in different ways.
- Have fun!
Despite promises that this Christmas will be ‘significantly better’ than last year, we are still battling numerous Covid variants and thus uncertainty around plans. Therefore, we really do recommend seeking fun and laughter in all you can. Whether it’s at the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special, a terrible cracker joke, or dressing up your dogs in little elf costumes! Try to focus on what will bring you the greatest sense of holiday JOY, and if it is eating a family-sized tin of quality street all to yourself, know that you won’t be alone! Because if you can’t overeat at Christmas, when can you?
- Stay Safe
Here’s hoping that you all have the chance to unwind over Christmas and that however you celebrate the festive period, it is safe and fun! Look after yourselves and your loved ones. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!