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How to switch off from work over the Christmas break

Without sounding too corny, it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas and for many of us it is a time when we take annual leave to enjoy the festivities.

If you are planning time away from work over Christmas the pressure is probably already on to get everything on your to-do list completed. Then, finally, you can relax.

After all holidays are a time to recuperate, switch off and take the time to do more of what you enjoy so that when it’s finally time to come back to work you can return refreshed and ready to give your best.

Sounds great right? Although it’s not always that easy. It can be so hard to switch off from work during any time away and the modern world, with all its technological advances, makes it even harder to do so.

Switching off however is essential to ensure that we don’t become too stressed and ultimately burnt out. A situation which not only makes it much harder to perform at our best but also impacts every area of our lives from health to personal relationships.

So, how do you switch off from work? 

Well, it does take some practice and preparation. Follow our top tips to help you rest, relax and enjoy yourself:

Plan, delegate and communicate - on the run up to your holiday you need to commit to prioritising the tasks that have to be done before your break. Yes, this can often mean extra work but the payback is that you can leave work with everything in control and it will be easier to switch off. Delegate to colleagues if necessary, communicating why.

It is also essential to consider what might happen during your time away to make certain that things run smoothly in your absence. It also ensures you aren’t faced with chaos when you return. Take the time to go through all the essential information with another member of your team, even if it is hard for you to let go.

Be ok with saying no - on the run up to your time away you will have to be ok with saying no to any additional work that will impact on your ability to get everything finished on time.

Extra work will make you extra stressed and liable to make mistakes which will ultimately impact on your ability to relax when away. 

Leave your work at work - when you finish on your last day take some time to organise yourself for your first day back so you are prepared to hit the ground running and then walk away, leaving your laptop at work, if you can.

A great tip is during the week before take a moment each day to visualise yourself finishing work and leaving on your last day, as it mentally helps with the switch off. 

Plan to relax - as much as you need to prepare to finish work you also need to take time to prepare to relax on holiday. Consider what activities help you relax and maximise opportunities to do them and plan in lots of fun times as well.

You also need to plan and decide if, how and when you will give any time to work during your holiday. If you are a person who will need to check emails during your holiday embrace and accept this or it will lead to underlying stress, although allocate dedicated time periods, such as 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening and then stick to this.