Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Survival Tips

The holiday season has officially started, and in addition to working, we all probably have family commitments, holiday parties, and assorted festivities where our attendance is required. Starting tomorrow, it's going to feel like crunch time for most of us, especially those of us with billable hour requirements trying to meet the year's quota. No matter what your situation, here are some tips to get through the holiday season and start off 2008 on the right foot:

1. Take care of yourself. This may seem obvious, but it's all too easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about our own health. Drink plenty of water, try to make healthy food choices (shrimp cocktail is much better than anything fried or mini'd, for example), and try to get plenty of rest. If you have a regular exercise routine, stick to it. And remember there is no shame in taking a few minutes for yourself, even if it's just a ten-minute walk in the middle of the day.

2. Stay focused. It's tempting to look out the window and daydream or do some online holiday shopping. Now is the time to focus, to work on meeting your goals and finishing your assignments. That way, you'll be in a position to put on your coat and leave the office at the end of the day without worrying.

3. Take care of someone else. Got an elderly neighbor? A friend who could use some cheering up? A food bank that needs servers? Nothing feels better than to help someone else. Shovel your neighbor's walk; take your friend out for coffee (I highly recommend Starbucks Peppermint Mochas - you can't be unhappy after drinking one of those!); spend a couple of hours serving food to those less fortunate.

4. Count your blessings. As cheesy as it sounds, it's good to remind yourself what is good in your life amidst what is definitely a stressful season. Make a list of five things that bring you joy, and post it somewhere you will see it every day.

5. Keep it all in perspective. The holidays will be over soon enough, and so will the stresses and expectations. Take the time to enjoy them and bask in the good of the season. January comes soon enough, with its own set of expectations, and these expectations aren't dressed in twinkling lights.

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