According to a new LinkedIn study, 49% of respondents say they will be taking less vacation time than last year. Millennials, in particular, plan to work more this year, citing flexible work hours and locations. Just because it may be easier for you to work does not mean you can’t enjoy the start of the holiday season. Here are five things to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, even if you have to work:
1. Wakeup naturally.
If you dread waking up to an alarm, turn your alarm off. It is okay to be on a different schedule during the holidays because most other people are, too.
Instead, consider keeping your blinds or curtains open so that you wake up to natural sunlight. Allow your body to react naturally to the environment and get a better start to the day.
2. Identify one or two things you want to accomplish each day, and stop on completion.
If you need to work, work. But don’t feel like you have to make up for lost time or do everything. In fact, creating this expectation for yourself (and not achieving it) may make you feel worse than if you had not planned to work at all.
Identify a couple of things you want to do, do the tasks well and then stop. Allow yourself the opportunity to feel like you have accomplished something. Allow yourself to feel good.
3. Keep to a regular workday schedule, or work a shorter day.
If you are working, work during normal work hours. The holidays, a time of increased stress, are not the time to work longer hours. If you complete the things you set out to accomplish before the end of the day, stop. Allow yourself to stop earlier than you might otherwise.
Keep the early morning hours and evening to yourself. Time for yourself is critical to self-care and your effectiveness as a professional.
4. Schedule two times a day to check email.
You do not need to be glued to your email during the Thanksgiving holiday. If there is an emergency, chances are you are not going to learn about it via email on a holiday. Most people are not on email, and people generally do not expect others to be checking email frequently.
Take a little respite from email. Consider checking email once in the morning and once in the afternoon, say at 10am and 3pm.
5. Avoid bringing your phone to the dining table.
You do not have to be connected to technology all the time. You do not have to constantly be checking email or replying instantly, particularly on a holiday when most people are not working or at least recognizing that work does not have to be conducted at the usual tempo.
Leave your phone in your room or office. Don’t put it in your jacket pocket. Do not put it on the table. Focus on enjoying your meal and your company, per Covid-19 government guidelines. Give thanks to what is in front of you.
Even if you feel you need to work during the Thanksgiving holiday, be kind to yourself and don’t work yourself too hard. Wakeup naturally, keep to a schedule, focus on accomplishing just a couple of things, discipline yourself with checking email and don’t be looking at your phone while eating.