5 holiday harmony tips for overstressed workers

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? How did December get here so fast?

I enjoy this time of year, but it always feels a bit chaotic. Office parties, calendar planning for 2017, file purging, desk re-org (always on my December to do list!) and end of year tasks keep me busy at the office.  Then there is another list waiting: decorating for the holidays, shopping for that perfect gift and keeping the cat from climbing up the Christmas tree!

Let’s face reality. This can be one of the hardest times of the year to strike a good work-life harmony so here are 5 holiday harmony tips.

Know What Is Really Important and Stick to It

Especially during the holidays, we have to understand our individual priorities. Step away from the gift wrap and scissors and go through the exercise of defining your priorities. If what is most important is family time, be true to you and set appropriate time aside to make that happen. It’s easy at the holidays to drift through the days allowing whatever happens to swallow your attention, leaving you frustrated and feeling “less than.” When priorities are set, it feels very satisfying and honest to say no to activities or events that don’t make the cut, or at the very least put limits on participation.

Tough Talks D

Set Limits on Work Hours

Speaking from experience, this is easier said than done. If you are committed to holiday harmony, it’s paramount to feeling that holiday ho-ho-ho to set limits on work hours and honor them. Establish some boundaries that separate work time from personal time. As the holidays approach, don’t just carve the turkey, but carve out some extra personal time. Communicate with your boss and co-workers your game plan for getting out of the office on time.

Find an Elf

When you can, get help with errands. Hire a babysitter for a few hours shopping, a housecleaner for a day, etc. Remind yourself that the house, the yard, the lights, do not have to be perfect. Scale back your expectations if needed in order to keep your priorities aligned. Believe it or not, you don’t have to do it all.


Set limits on checking work email after work hours. I know one co-worker who has a priority of blocking out time for family meals during the holiday rush and during those meals, smartphones are not allowed at the table. Instead, the family discusses ways they can serve others, share holiday traditions and enjoy some old fashioned togetherness. What a concept! 

Improve Your Mood and Get Moving!

Did exercise make it onto your “what’s really important list”? During the hectic holidays, a little exercise can boost your energy level, improve your mood and keep you from drinking too much eggnog.

Finding holiday harmony is a challenge. Keep your priorities in mind and just do your best. It’s really the best gift you can give yourself.