The holiday season brings family and friends together and sparks an anticipated joy for the promise of a new year ahead. Amidst all the joy and the holiday splendor, there is no denying that the hours of daylight are fleeting and that the workday feels longer. While we all strive to do our best in our personal and professional lives during this time, trying to keep a healthy balance during the busiest time of the year can be a challenge.
I reached out to my teammates in order to gain a better understanding of the different ways they manage this high-pressure time of year. Here are the top tips that I heard from my colleagues:
- Take micro-breaks. Taking micro-breaks throughout the day is good for your health. As reported by The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the beneficial impact of short bouts of physical activity has improved mood and decreased feelings of fatigue. These short breaks help to reset and recharge and make you better motivated to carry on with your day. Engage in a two-minute conversation with your neighbor or get up and step away from your desk, grab a coffee, water, or snack. If your meeting doesn’t need a computer/notebook, plan walking meetings where you can move and talk.
- Recognize accomplishments. We all get into the groove and can unintentionally oversee or forget things our colleagues have achieved. It is important for the team to recognize each other’s efforts and accomplishments, big or small. One team even uses a group “shout-out jar.” This shout-out jar encourages colleagues to highlight the good that their peers are doing. These comments are then read at team huddles to celebrate achievements.
- Create community. According to a new HP workplace survey, 83 percent of full-time American employees report that their “work family” makes them feel happier. Meanwhile, 60 percent say they are more successful at work because of those close connections. To engage in your corporate community, meet other departments, and form workplace relationships, one team at National Life Group periodically invites different departments to participate in shared meals or volunteer opportunities. This is a fantastic way to create connections, learn about other departments, serve a charity in need, or simply swap delicious and healthy recipes.
- Practice empathy. From time to time, we can all lose our patience. While this may not be our intent, it is important to keep calm and understand that we are all doing the best we can. Empathy comes from listening, understanding and communicating authentically. We live and work in a dynamic world, keep an open mind when it comes to team changes and process improvements. Encourage collaboration and show up for your teammates in the way you want them to show up for you.
- Give. Gather your teammates to participate in giving back to your community. Sponsor a family for the holiday. Donate to a cause and check if your company participates in a charitable match program. Volunteer. Make holiday cards for your local hospital. Acts, big or small, will make all the difference to someone in need.
- Self-Care and Share. The need for self–care is prevalent all year round, but especially during the holiday season. Make time for activities in and outside of work that are centered around peace of mind and remember to take the time you need for yourself while encouraging others to do the same! Exercise, go out with friends, read a few pages in that book you’ve been waiting to open. There is no better time to start taking care of yourself than now.
What will you do to make your corner of the world brighter during the most wonderful time of the year? Look around your work environment and model the behaviors that make people shine no matter the season.