Christmas is a stressful time for many. It can be full of fun, but the constant need to make the most of it can be draining for some with the added pressure of getting work complete before taking time out. We have created a guide to help you remain calm and allow you to be as stress free as possible over Christmas and the New Year.
- Prioritise what needs do be done urgently and what can wait for the New Year. Making lists and delegating can ensure you are only doing what needs to be done.
- Ensure any new work or clients have been advised if your business shuts down for Christmas. This can be either email or by phone. A personal touch can let your client know they are important, but that you also value the Christmas break. A festive voice message could be good enough.
- Block out the first few days back to tackle any backlog of work. The first few days back may be quite busy so it would be beneficial to take a day or two to go through emails, return any phone calls and ensure staff have everything they need.
- In the lead up to Christmas ensure you take regular breaks away from the desk. It is a stressful time for businesses, and you do not want to be caught up in the mayhem. Regular lunchtime walks can do wonders for your wellbeing. The fresh air and sunshine is far from the reality of the office environment.
- Ensure your physical health and diet are not compromised. For many we may indulge over the Christmas break, cosying up indoors with limited exercise. However, where you can, we suggest trying to eat relatively healthy, go out for a wintery walk and get adequate rest. Sticking to your normal routine will help the return to work in January go a lot smoother.
- Do not check work emails unless necessary. A break from work should be just that – a break. The time away will give your body and mind a chance to recharge and allow rest and relaxation. Although your days may be filled with family gatherings, it will be a nice change to the norm.
We hope these tips are helpful to you. Bad mental health over Christmas and the New Year can hit a peak and this is very worrying. We hope following the above points can give some order and organisation to allow you to relax over the festive period. It isn’t always easy, but it may be more beneficial to relax and return to work raring to go than to spend the time off worrying about what needs to be done as soon as you step back into the office.
If your poor mental health is more personal, we encourage you to visit your GP for further advice.
What can a company do to support good mental health?
Mental health is becoming increasingly spoken about in the workplace. Wellbeing is a hot topic for employers to show they care and are taking steps to encourage good mental health. However, poor mental health can come in many forms and can begin at home. This is where it can become difficult to manage or assist in recovery. Employees have a right to a private life and asking too many questions can be insensitive.
We encourage employees to speak to their managers if they are suffering with poor mental health. It can have ongoing effects which in turn can affect the business. Anxiety and depression are most common and can be quite severe if not treated. Line managers should also receive training on how to support employees and how to plan any progress and if any changes need to be made. Subtle work changes can have a huge effect on a person’s mentality. If an employee has trouble sleeping or simply getting up in the morning a change in shift time can help (if realistic). There could also be an option to work from home if employees need time away from the stress in a work environment but want to continue working. It would also be beneficial to meet frequently to voice any concerns or confirm an employee’s duties. It can make workers feel very anxious if they are not 100% sure on their role in the company.
Not everyone enjoys Christmas, or even celebrates it. Some religions just view it as another day and those who have suffered bereavements may wish to ignore the time of year completely. It is imperative that festivities and games are not forced on people who wish not to be involved. The celebrations are voluntary and singling someone out for being a ‘Scrooge’ could result in a grievance being raised. Please be sensitive and ensure your staff are well looked after.
If you need assistance with writing a wellbeing policy and implementing this into your company, please give us a call on 01206 700 690 or email us at email@example.com