top of page
  • Vanessa Barajas, MPH

Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Finding balance among our responsibilities at work and at home can help us avoid burnout and stress. Take time to envision the holidays and identify what really matters. Rather than being a victim of holiday overload, make a decision to focus on your mental and emotional well-being by taking these steps:

Ask for Help

It can be hard to find enough hours to complete critical year-end tasks. Share your responsibilities, and understand that it’s okay if you cannot do everything on your own. Whether it’s doing laundry or sending an email, learn to delegate at work, and ask for help at home. It may even be helpful to take advantage of professional services like house cleaning or landscaping to ease your workload.

Prioritize Your Activities

It may feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do for work as well as everything you'd like to do outside of it. To prioritize, make a list of work tasks and personal activities. Begin with must-do work tasks that have deadlines, such as reports, phone calls, emails, create a guide for the person who will cover your role during your time off, etc.

Create a Schedule

Is your list of activities a long one? There are ways to do it all, but before you create a schedule, determine how you're currently spending your time. How many hours do you spend each week replying to emails and text messages? Running errands? Looking at social media? Chatting with staff members? Track how you spend your time for a few days, and be honest with yourself. You may find that you're spending a lot more time on some activities than you think. Whether you want to cut back on your social media use, shop online instead of in person, or bring your lunch to work rather than eating out every day, find ways to save time and be more efficient during the busy holiday season.

Have Some “Me Time”

Start by setting aside at least 1 hour a day for “me time.” Use this time to do things you like to do and don’t mind doing alone. For example, grab a book and head over to a local coffee shop, go to the spa and get a facial, go on a hike, or sit down and get crafty. The options are endless. The best part is that you are simply doing these things for you and for no one else. You make the rules here, there’s no restrictions, judgment or pressure during “me time.”

If you can’t afford to set aside time just for you, find other ways to get in that special time for yourself, even if it’s only possible in small doses. Instead of parking to the closest entrance at work, park at a distance to get in a few extra steps. A short walk to work will give you time to organize your thoughts while also giving you that little bit of physical exercise. Instead of having lunch at your workplace, step out for a moment, use the stairs instead of the elevator, send your documents to the furthest printer- all these things will help you better care for yourself and keep you sane during the holiday craziness.

Take Care of Yourself

When your personal life and work get stressful, it can be easy to put your own needs on the back burner. Respect your need for a healthy work-life balance, because if you aren't taking care of yourself, there's no way you'll be able to take care of your clients, your team, or your organization. Set boundaries and stick with them, take breaks at work, exercise, eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep, indulge in a massage, or enjoy time with friends. Taking care of you should always be high on your list — it's the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.

By getting organized, setting boundaries, delegating tasks to others, and having realistic expectations, you can achieve the balance you crave. Once you do, you'll eliminate burnout, and actually enjoy this time of year.


bottom of page