Relax. And Work. You Can Do It.

By Jennifer Travis

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It has been an eventful year. Globally, we’ve experienced massive change in most areas of our lives, from how we live and work, to how we socialize with family and friends. Your brain might be a little bit tired and craving rest.  It would be hard to find an argument against taking the opportunity to unplug and recharge over the holiday season.   

If you need to stay connected to work or just want to get a few things done while it’s quieter. This article has five simple things you can do to stay productive but still relax and feel rejuvenated for 2021.

1. Turn off your alarm clock.  

Even this little action is a treat. Open your blinds and let your body wake up naturally. Health and wellness experts say light is the first cue for our brain to wake up. Taking advantage of those natural cycles will make waking up a little easier, and you’ll feel more refreshed and ready for your day.  

2.    Keep it focussed. 

Don’t try to make up for lost time. Sure, you could treat these days as a regular workday, but that could lead you to feel resentful and more tired. Choose one or two things per day, get them done, and stop. Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment.  

3.    Be disciplined. 

With so many of us working from home, it’s easy to start working earlier or finish later. Be disciplined about creating real boundaries on your time. Once you’ve completed your tasks for the day, try to curb your desire to think “I’m on a roll!” and continue working.  Stop and use your time for a little self care. Resting your brain is critical for your effectiveness as a professional. 

4.    Escape the email ambush. 

Plan your own day. Don’t let your email plan it for you. Limit how often you check and answer your email. This is a time of year when people don’t expect an answer as quickly as you might during a typical work period. Try limiting your checks to twice per day and know that people can call or text you if it’s an emergency. 

5.    Put the phone down. 

Almost everything and everyone is moving at a slower pace, and that’s ok for you too. When you don’t have to be connected, try leaving your device in another room. If you can be fully present with what is happening in front of you, you’ll take in the experience differently and that will help you feel refreshed and connected.  

The bottom line. If you need to work, that’s ok. Just be kind to yourself, create and respect the boundaries you set so you can kick off the new year feeling refreshed.  

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