20 Dec 2023

The Professional’s Guide To Work-Life Balance Over The Holidays

The Professional's Guide To Work-Life Balance Over the Holidays | Exacta Solutions

Discover the secrets to work-life balance this Christmas season with these practical tips.

The holiday season can feel like a tightrope walk for many professionals and careerists. That excitement as you eagerly await a break with friends and loved ones is too often preceded by a rush to tie up loose ends at work lest they overshadow your well-deserved downtime.

The fact is that work never truly goes away. Recognising the importance of setting clear boundaries between work and personal life becomes crucial, perhaps even more so over the holidays. What’s more, taking an intentional break allows for dedicated time to rest and recharge, ensuring you step into the new year with renewed energy.

For those struggling to disconnect during the holidays, here are practical tips and actionable steps to help you achieve a more harmonious work-life balance.

Set your priorities

You might have seen this quote making the rounds on LinkedIn recently: “20 Years from Now, the Only People Who Will Remember That You Worked Late Are Your Kids.” While not everyone has kids, the sentiment behind the message will still hit home for many. Whether it’s friends, parents, or siblings—those special people in our lives matter. It’s a reminder to prioritise our time wisely. Whether it’s people, pets, or personal passions, making time for what truly matters is key to a fulfilling work-life balance.

Work-Life Balance at Christmas | Exacta SolutionsDon’t be afraid to say “no”

There is always going to be one more client request, another project detail, and unexpected surprises that need attention. When tasks pile up with tight deadlines, it will eventually lead to burnout. That means you might finish everything on your list before the holidays, but it will take days, if not the entire holiday, to truly relax. And that’s certainly not good for your well-being. So, don’t hesitate to say “no.” Be assertive in managing your work schedule. Setting realistic boundaries ensures a smoother transition into a genuinely restful holiday break.

Make solid plans

For those easily pulled back into work mode, it helps to make solid plans. Set dates in your schedule for events and activities you can look forward to. Whether it’s family travel or reserving a meal with friends, having specific times blocked out makes it easier to stick to these commitments. Concrete plans act as something of a safety net, ensuring you can’t allocate time for meaningful experiences outside of work.

Don’t substitute work stresses for holiday ones

Holidays aren’t automatically relaxing just because they’re called holidays. We need to be intentional about how we spend them to ensure we truly get the rest we deserve. That’s why it may not always be the wisest idea to host Christmas day gatherings or other parties if it adds stress with planning, prepping, shopping, and cooking. Similarly, if that flood of festive invitations on your calendar is causing stress, it’s okay to draw a line and politely decline. The goal is to steer clear of substituting work stresses for holiday stresses, allowing you to genuinely enjoy the festive season without overwhelming yourself.

Holidays Work-Life Balance | Exacta SolutionsTurn your notifications off

In our tech-driven world, stepping away from work for uninterrupted personal time has become a challenge. Clients may drop emails or messages at any hour, making it tough to fully unwind. Constant reminders of tasks don’t contribute to relaxation. If this sounds familiar, then do yourself a favour and switch off those notifications. Set up automatic email replies, letting people know you’re taking a break and will address matters upon your return to the office. Consider using apps that limit or block distracting emails and apps. By doing so, you create a digital barrier, allowing yourself the peace needed to unplug and enjoy your well-deserved time off.

Enjoy a change of scene

With remote and hybrid work now the norm, home may not be the peaceful haven it once was. If your job has you working from home a lot, truly unwinding can be a challenge. As such, a change of scene may be the solution you need. That’s because breaking away from your usual environment helps your mind break free from routine. Whether it’s a trip abroad or a local staycation in a nearby hotel or guesthouse, the key is to step out of your usual surroundings to avoid triggering the familiar work-related thoughts and stresses. Embracing a new setting enhances your ability to relax and be present in the moment.

Schedule in “me” time

Over the holidays, it’s easy to pour all your time and energy into family and friends, especially if you’ve been working hard all year. While sharing moments with loved ones is delightful, it’s crucial to reserve some time for yourself. Real work-life balance means dedicating moments solely to you. So, be sure to use your holiday time wisely by setting aside 30 minutes or an hour each day for some solo enjoyment—whether it’s a walk, reading a book, or simply enjoying a quiet coffee in the morning. This “me” time ensures you recharge and truly relax.

For more top workplace tips and advice, check out Exacta Solutions’ Candidate Resources today.