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It’s holiday time! With the “merry” and “happy” season upon us, many are excited to enjoy time with family and friends, indulge in the season’s splendid delicacies, and both give and receive presents of all kinds. Whatever your plans may be, taking time off at the end of the year has many career benefits for you, as well! Studies show that time off during the holidays increases our sense of mindfulness, reduces heart disease, lowers stress, and boosts brain power.(1)

While the season comes with feelings of gratitude, nostalgia, and celebration, it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. When we step out of our normal routines, it takes a natural toll on our psychological state. Add in some potentially stressful travel, navigating multi-family dynamics, or unexpected changes in plans, and it can make the bright lights of the season feel pretty dim. 

To make the best of your time off during the holidays this year, use these five tips: 

  1.  Take the time
    Did you reserve your PTO days? Then, stop working. Seriously. In our remote lifestyles, this is even more challenging. Set up your out-of-office replies, turn off notifications (yes, on your mobile, too), and put away your laptop. If you can, shut your office door. The work will be there when you return. If you really must “check-in” with work needs, give yourself limits and set timeframes so you can get back to what’s important – your time with loved ones!  
  2. Set realistic expectations
    Jumping from one party to grandma’s house, to the in-laws, to the next party … we tend to overbook ourselves during the holidays. Why? We want more joy, more merry merry, more happy happy. Sometimes, we try to “outdo” last year with even bigger plans. Decide on your most important priorities and set realistic expectations. 
  3. Plan ahead
    Remember those priorities you just set? Now, make a plan to keep them. Maybe it’s one less party to attend this year or a little less decorating (a little less work overall), so you can actually enjoy downtime. Make the plans and commit to keeping them. 
  4. Continue or start healthy habits
    Sleep, healthy eating, and exercise tend to go by the wayside when the holiday season nears. While a little spontaneous fun and late-night snacks (did anyone say sugar cookies?) are certainly worth the indulgence, make sure you are also maintaining healthy habits. Eight hours of sleep, daily exercise, and healthy food are the foundation of wellness. Make it fun by including family members or even trying new recipes! It might even become a new tradition.  
  5. Choose renewal in the New Year
    Come back to work with a new sense of exuberance after a wonderful holiday season. Rest, have fun, and get ready for 2023! January is a great “start” month. What new habits do you want to create at work or what goals do you wish to set? We can’t wait to see everyone “back in the office” or “online,” ready to fire it up for Q1. 

And when we return, the Optimum Healthcare IT team will be here to guide you through the new year. After taking time off for the holidays, reach out to us to discuss your EHR Implementation, Managed Services, Cybersecurity, Cloud, ServiceNow, and Staffing needs.

Consulted articles: 

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2021/05/23/why-taking-vacation-time-could-save-your-life/?sh=c9ecb624de0b 
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544 
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/health-wellness/2021/11/20/working-holidays-impacts-mental-health/6343737001/ 

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