How to Avoid the Holiday Slump
We’ve all felt it – you’re full of holiday snacks and treats, you’ve been spoiling yourself and your family, and you’re worn out from the rush of the holiday season. Returning to work after the holiday break can feel like a challenge. After time off and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, catching up on work might be the last thing on your mind. The holiday slump affects everyone differently and can result in lower rates of productivity right at the start of a brand new year. We want to start off every day on a good note – so here are some ways to avoid the holiday slump and maintain productivity at work to decrease stress levels.
What Employees Can Do
Recognizing that you are someone who suffers from the holiday slump is the first step to avoiding it! If you feel like you have a hard time getting back into the swing of things at work after the holidays end, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure your productivity levels stay up and your workload doesn’t pile up.
- Get organized. Prepare and plan for the month ahead. Writing down a to-do list is a simple task that can fuel your motivation. Organize your list by priority, but try to weave simpler tasks in between the bigger, more challenging tasks. Completing the big stuff is important – but completing the small stuff can increase feelings of satisfaction and, therefore, motivate you to tackle the bigger stuff!
- Categorize your email. Don’t expect to get through every single email in your inbox in the first couple of days back to work. Categorize your emails into three different sections: emails that need to be addressed immediately, emails that can be addressed later, and emails that will likely be deleted/ignored. Filtering through your emails decreases the feeling of an overwhelming level of demands from multiple sources.
- Put anything that is non-urgent on the back burner. Set aside one day near the end of the week to address all the things that were not urgent to address upon your return. This decreases stress by setting a specific time to address menial tasks without having to worry about the small stuff while addressing the big stuff. If you need a break from big projects, address one of these back-burner items so that you aren’t completely stopping your workflow.
- Give yourself micro-breaks. The reality is that it’s not easy to get back into work mode after being away. Take micro-breaks (2-3 minutes) every hour to rest and recharge and face your work with a new mindset.
What Employers Should Know
It’s important for employers to recognize that employees may have a lower productivity rate following the holidays. Here are some things employers can do to increase productivity and a positive atmosphere for employees following the holidays:
- Help decrease stress levels by encouraging frequent micro-breaks. Suggest mindfulness activities to bring employees to the present moment to let go of the past and not worry about the future.
- Acknowledge feelings. Chances are, everyone is feeling slightly overwhelmed and a little bummed out that the holidays are over – it’s okay to acknowledge this with open honesty.
- Remind employees that it’s a new year and we all want to start the new year off on a good note.
- Be available to assist employees – to provide feedback, encouragement, and guidelines.
- Have patience while employees are getting back into their work habits, but also be firm with deadlines and requirements.
- Practice gratitude with your employees for the time you did get away from work.
How Can Gowan Consulting Help?
- Engage an Occupational Therapist to support an objective assessment of the worker’s ability to stay at work and the work demands. The Occupational Therapist can provide practical tools, strategies, and coaching to support an employee in maintaining productivity.
- Assist managers in developing the skills to identify and support employees in distress – our newest date for Manager Mental Health Training is January 26th, 2021 at 12:30pm to 4:30pm EST.
- Listen to Nicolette Gowan’s new meditation series “In the Now with Nicolette”—now for free on Youtube!
- Check out our extensive array of Mental Health webinars. They cover topics such as resiliency, breaking down the stigma, mindfulness, and more!
- Ask us about our comprehensive Mental Health – Crisis Fatigue Package for your team. We have resources and tools that can assist you with having a mental health support program for yourself and your employees.
- TIPS for Return to the Workplace Program– Consider enrolling in our new 4-session work-focused CBT program to assist you or your employees in having the strategies to successfully return to work.
For more on all we have to offer, contact us! We want to help make a difference in your healthy business!