The holiday season is here. Many cherish this time as it often brings families and friends together, there’s usually an opportunity to relax and connect with those around you and let’s not forget the delicious food. However, as busy comms pros, this time can sometimes be tough to unwind and unplug from work, from your computer and that list of things to do in your notepad as well as in your head.
It’s important to have time for yourself and step away from work, especially during your upcoming Thanksgiving break.
Here are six ways to unplug from work and take some time for yourself this holiday season:
Prepare for the break.
Instead of just leaving your tasks and responsibilities in limbo before leaving, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan so things aren’t piled up when you return. Prioritize your workload and make sure that your most important tasks are accomplished. Check-in with folks who can move projects along if you’re taking a longer break than the rest of your team. Be sure to look ahead at your schedule after you return to ensure that you won’t be overwhelmed immediately when you come back.
Set up your OOO auto-response.
It is important to ensure that nobody is blindsided by your absence at work, even during the holidays. An easy, but important step is to make sure you set up your automatic Out Of Office response in your email. This will ensure that anyone who tries to contact you will know not to expect an immediate response or feel offended to be left hanging. All you need is a simple sentence or two sharing when you’re back, with an optional point of contact for emergencies.
Set aside time each day for relaxation. Find some quiet time each day to decompress and have some ‘me’ time. It could be reading a good book, taking a walk, or doing some yoga. By scheduling time for relaxation, you’ll be more likely to actually do it.
Limit your exposure to social media.
It’s not uncommon for people to spend so much time on social media that it interferes with their leisure time. To avoid that, try limiting yourself to a few minutes in the morning to catch up on what you’ve been missing, and then not checking it again until later in the evening. The extra time that you free up by doing this will allow you to focus on other things that you enjoy.
Reconnect with family and friends.
Spending time with your family and friends is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Instead of spending your time at the office, take the time to catch up with the people that you care about most. They’ll be thrilled to see you and will appreciate the opportunity to spend some quality time with you. As a bonus, they will probably appreciate the fact that you’re not spending all of your time at your desk!
Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health. During the holiday season, it’s easy to let things slide a little, but it’s important to make time to get moving for overall health and it’ll be nice to stretch your legs after all the friendly family banter.
Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn