This is the first holiday season where we’ve been living within a global pandemic. It’s a strange time, and finding work-life balance during the holiday season this year may be more difficult even than normal. How can we balance the stress of the pandemic, work, holidays, remote learning, and all the other things we have going on? Here are some suggestions.
Balancing Holiday Stress During a Pandemic
Work and your personal life can come into conflict during the holiday season. There may be lots of opportunities for overtime or your employer may have so much work you feel compelled to work more than a 40-hour week. Finding balance when the holidays are so crazy and work is jam-packed can be hard.
There are always more commitments tugging at us at the end of the year, so even the most balanced schedules could feel out of whack. If you feel like holiday events are disrupting work and vice versa, it’s time to rethink your work and personal responsibilities. The chances are high this year, despite the pandemic, you will struggle at some point with finding enough time to fit everything in. Consider just saying “no” to a few things; this will be a necessity is you want to find some work-life balance this year.
You can also sit down at the beginning of the holiday season and map out all of your commitments. Try rating what’s most important, then discarding anything that ranks low on your list. Then go back to what remains and determine how you will roadmap the time you have available to fit everything in. Don’t forget to take time for exercise and to get enough sleep—as we approach cold and flu season, this will become vital to your health.
You don’t have to jot down every hour of your schedule, but you should get a sense of how to prioritize the time you have available outside of work. Ask yourself a few questions, such as whether you can delegate tasks to another family member or if you should take some vacation to give you enough time to get everything done? Also, look at the time you’re wasting, such as time spent on social media or waiting for a child outside basketball practice.
Another tip is to do your holiday shopping online. The chances are high, if you cut back on social media, and on the time traveling to and from stores, you may carve out a little more balance in your life. Shopping online eliminates all of the traffic and crowd-related stress you experience during the holidays.
After you prioritize your schedule and cut back on wasted time, you may find that balancing your work and life just might get a bit easier this year. Another way to balance your life is to consider a part-time or temporary job. If your employer doesn’t support you in your efforts to find more balance and if you’re working more than 40-hours every week, consider that there may be an alternative work arrangement that could pay well but also free up your time.