The Christmas tree is up, the fairy lights are lit, the bonbons are set on the table, the trifle is in the fridge - and you are sifting through your phone, replying to just one more email, tweaking just one more slide on the Powerpoint, making just one more phone call to a prospective client. Happy holidays, right?
If this resembled your Christmas, you're not alone. Nearly 73% of Australians continue to work in some way while they are on leave. This figure is sure to continue rising, as thanks to email, text and social media, people are now contactable 24/7, no matter where they are in the world.
So, a very modern question - is it possible to have a true break from work, relax fully, and not worry about what might be awaiting you when you return?
The key is to organise things before you go away, so that you're in the right headspace to relax and revitalise.
Top tips to prepare for your holiday break include:
Once you walk out of the workplace, switch off!
Turn off the phone, turn off the emails, and don't check in - relax and enjoy your time off. In almost every case, things will keep going without you.
Of course, not all of us get time off over the summer period.
If you do have to work through, try to:
While we're all very familiar with the term, what exactly is meant by "stress"? Stress sparks the fight or flight response, preparing the body for action against a potential threat. Adrenaline and cortisol are released, resulting in a speeding up of the heart rate, metabolism and breathing rate.
Once, this fight or flight response might have kicked in with a mammoth chasing you across the tundra, but in the modern workplace, it's much more likely to result from your supervisor imposing a tight deadline, or dealing with an angry client or a hundred "urgent" emails!
Stress is largely inevitable, whether you're dealing with issues at work or navigating long holiday queues at the airport. In many ways, it is an acceptable part of modern living - so long as it is managed correctly.
The stress response can be helpful in the short-term, but long-term, it can have negative effects on your health. Stress can lead to a variety of conditions including fatigue, high blood pressure and depression.
A recent buzzword in human resources and psychology, mindfulness is a useful technique for reducing stress. Mindfulness can help you manage your workload better, improve your concentration, increase relaxation and promote self-awareness.
It involves reflection, prioritisation and listening, without distractions. It means being present in the moment, thinking only of the task at hand, and re-focusing on your work and its purpose.
There are a number of mindfulness techniques you can try, including mediation, paying attention to your breathing and progressively relaxing your muscles.
So whether you are working through or taking time off these holidays, make 2018 the year you return to the workplace relaxed and re-focused, and better able to manage stress!
And if you'd like to get your 2018 off on the right start, we have training programs available to ensure your workplace investigation is as stress free as possible.
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