It's everyone's favorite time of year. The decorations are up. Christmas music is playing. Santa is watching. The air feels festive. Family gatherings. Parties galore.
Hold up. It's 2020 and the recipe is a little different.
Take a stressful year. Add the stress of work, an intense election, bad news left and right. And sprinkle a little holiday anxiety on top. Yep, that's more like it. This year has been a year of survival in every aspect and the end of the year is no different. What is different is the majority of us are working from home. Not only are we working from home. We are teaching at home. We are cooking at home. We are doing literally everything at home. Kinda makes it hard to get in the festive mood when we've been stuck at home for nearly 10 months. However, it is possible to make it to the new year without completely falling apart (and maybe even enjoy yourself!). Here are some tips to survive the holiday season while working at home (along with a few socially distanced holiday events still happening in the Pittsburgh area).
Let your family know when you need time to focus on work, but also let your work know when you need family time. Share your schedule, goals and intentions with your clients, supervisors, as well as friends and family.
2. Take breaks
Like I said before, this year has been tough. And holidays can be tough. Realize that yes, there is a lot to get done, but none of it will be finished if you're not fully present. If you feel yourself getting burned out, take a break. Go for a walk. Do some yoga.
3. Claim your space
If the kids are home from school - you might be lacking the space you had while they were away. It's important to have an area where you can focus on work. Claim a room with good internet connection and privacy.
4. Change your notifications
The dings, chimes and bells are enough to drive you crazy. Do Not Disturb exists for a reason. If you are stepping out of the office or away from wherever your workstation is, shut off your notifications. Working from home doesn’t mean a 24-hour workday.
The stress of the holidays can be overwhelming, but you will get through it. And when you need a little escape, Pittsburgh has a lot to offer.
Whatever the end of this crazy year brings, remember to breathe. Count your blessings. And wear your mask please.
~ Melissa Pravlik, Social & Web Strategist