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Handle holiday stress by keeping proper work-life balance

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With the Christmas season now in full swing, many workers are going through the balancing act between work and home more than usual. People need to make time for shopping, family plans, holiday parties, school programs and church functions while also holding down a job. It's the most wonderful time of the year as well as the most stressful.

Here are a few tips for making the best of a busy period of the year:

  • People need to make a clear separation of work and home. This is true year-round, but even more true during the holidays. People have to prioritize. They need to decide what is most important of all holiday tasks and events and how those events can be juggled around a work schedule.

Many people have December calendars that end up looking like there are hieroglyphics written on them because of all of the plans being made. There is help for families that are juggling multiple projects during the holidays. Using an app for planning such as Cozi can help (available for iPhone and Android phones). This app is a shared calendar that families can use to coordinate plans. It has the capability to hold multiple calendars to keep track of work, home and school.

  • Workers should use spare time as an advantage. They can make use of unpaid time at work such as breaks and lunch to get things done. Shopping can be done during lunch. Write They can write out their Christmas cards during lunch break. It is a good idea to ask the boss about using the company Internet to do some shopping or planning. If this isn't possible, many stores have apps for iPhone and Android users. People can take advantage of these to do some cyber shopping during their breaks. The same is true for travel sites such as Hotwire, Travelocity and Expedia.
  • Employees should request vacation time well in advance. It is best to save some paid time off for the end of the year. Many people request holiday time in January to make sure they have the time off. Even requesting an hour off can be a big help. Some people request flex scheduling or possibly working from home. Something as simple as going in early or coming in late (with the boss's advance approval) can help with shopping as well as attending school or church functions. Another idea is to swap shifts with coworkers so that each can attend to personal functions scheduled during usual work hours.
  • People need to unplug and slow down. When away from work, they should turn off cell phones, tablets and computers to minimize distractions. Even if out shopping, the fewer distractions, the better. With added responsibilities, stress can be overwhelming. A nap here and there may be in order. A relaxing movie with the family or reading holiday-themed books with children can also help. At work, if it is within an employee's authority to delegate tasks, they should use this as needed. They just need to remember that the people they are delegating to also have holiday plans. In the end, the holiday season requires more give and take on the part of all.


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