December is here and the busy holiday season is coming up. With this, you have to worry about final assignments and exams, along with your workplace likely getting busier to accommodate all the increased shopping activity. Add the new COVID-19 restrictions in place, and things may be feeling extra stressful! To reduce the stress, here are some self-care tips for your workplace and at home. We hope these will help you through this busy season, let you enjoy your school break, and lead you to feeling recharged for the new year.
For the Workplace
Take care of your feet: Your comfort is important. If you’re working a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, it shouldn’t always be ‘fashion over function’. Wear shoes that are comfortable or buy inserts to help give your feet something that will keep you going all day. When you’re at home, you can soak your feet with bath salts so you’ll be able to last the long hours at work.
Take your breaks! And eat well: It can be easy to work through your breaks or forget to eat, but it’s so essential to fuel yourself with food and rest so that you can be a good worker when you’re required to be ‘on’. On your break, try to go outside or at least leave your workplace building. Removing yourself from your work area (which will also help with customers not being able to talk to you) and going for a quick walk will allow you to come back feeling refreshed and ready to handle workplace demands.
Create boundaries – Learn to say no and don’t overwork: The hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers probably makes you feel like you are doing twice the work in the same amount of time, and you will most likely be asked to take on extra work – whether that’s handling more responsibilities during your shift or to work extra hours. Even if you don’t want to say “yes”, it can still be a struggle to say “no” without disappointing your employer or feeling like you’re letting down your team. But there is a way to be respectful and say no: Be straightforward and honest. Admitting that you’re exhausted, need a chance to recharge, and/or busy with homework in your after-work hours, is understandable. Just be sure to be a helpful, hard-working employee when you are on shift, and don’t stand around while others are working hard. You are a part of the team, after all.
Take a weekend off: We know you accepted your job so you could make money, but you need to make time for fun too. You can use your free time to do things you don’t normally get to do, like sleeping in, socializing with friends and family in a socially distanced way, exploring your local area, or even catching up on chores that have piled up – if it lessens your stress, do it! Giving yourself a break from work and studies can give you peace of mind, allowing you to bring fresh energy and positivity when you return to the workplace.
Have job satisfaction: If the thought of going to your job gives you anxiety and you dread going to work, it may be time to consider switching jobs and finding one that brings you less stress. December is a busy month with an increase in shoppers and final school assignments, so a job that makes you unhappy is only adding to your stress. It can be the people you work with, the duties you perform, or both that either makes you look forward to going to work or dread it.
If you think it’s time to look for a different job that can bring you more happiness, book with an Employment Advisor for assistance in finding a job that’s better for you: www.nic.bc.ca/careercentral
Eat healthy: This is a tough one during the Christmas season! Hot chocolate and eggnog, sweet treats, and alcohol can all take a toll on making you feel sluggish and unhealthy. It’s okay to indulge yourself, but make sure you’re eating healthy too so you can feel good from the inside out.
Stay on budget: A big stressor around Christmas time is money. You might be buying gifts for your family and friends, spending more money on outings, or finding that the January tuition payment deadline is way too close for comfort. In any case, try to stay on budget as much as you can because missed bill payments can have long-term consequences.
Rest: More sleep can do wonders for our body and mind. The days are dark and rainy right now and can feel quite depressing. Choosing to go to bed early and getting sleep instead of binge-watching more episodes on Netflix will help you have a positive attitude, feel and look good, and be functional in the workplace and at school.
Do things for YOU: Most importantly, your self-care should reflect things that make a difference for you. If you like to socialize, make plans to hang out with friends (safely, of course). If you need your quiet time, schedule time to be alone. If you like being organized, make an effort to clean up your space. If you like catching up on your favourite show, curl up on the couch and start watching.
It’s easy to get carried away with work and final school assignments, forgetting to take care of yourself in the process. Unfortunately, when that happens things around you suffer – your grades may drop, your productivity at work may slow down, or you might have less patience. Overall, you’ll probably feel very burnt out this time of year for a number of reasons from school, work, and life in general. Especially if you work in a customer service role, you need to take good care of yourself so you can take care of others. Now get started on recharging yourself so you too can enjoy the holiday season and school break!
As always, Student Employment Services is here to help. Book an appointment with an advisor for assistance with figuring out a good work-life balance, creating workplace boundaries, or anything related to world of work: www.nic.bc.ca/careercentral.