Home for the Holidays: Navigating Rest from a Remote Work Perspective

December 12, 2023

Ashley Meyer

Ashley Meyer

In this blog, we'll explore effective strategies for navigating rest during the holidays from a remote work perspective.

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Home for the Holidays: Navigating Rest from a Remote Work Perspective 

The holiday season is upon us, and for many remote workers, the prospect of taking time off can be exciting and daunting. While the allure of spending quality time with loved ones and indulging in festive activities is undeniable, the challenge lies in finding the right balance between rest and remote work responsibilities.  

In this blog, we’ll explore effective strategies for navigating rest during the holidays from a remote work perspective. 

1. Establish Clear Boundaries: 

One of the perks of remote work is the flexibility it offers, however, this can also blur the lines between professional and personal life. As the holiday season approaches, we encourage you to set clear boundaries between work and rest. Communicate your time off to your team and clients well in advance and strive to complete pending tasks before the holiday break. By doing so, you create a mental space for relaxation without the constant worry of looming work responsibilities. 

Top Tip: Instead of simply closing your laptop or turning off your phone, put them somewhere out of sight. *If you want to dive deep into the festive spirit, then consider gift wrapping them, and every time you open them, it feels like opening a present. 

2. Plan Ahead: 

The Top 12 Recruiter Prompts of Christmas for ChatGPT in 2024

Effective planning is crucial when it comes to remote work during the holidays. Anticipate potential workloads and deadlines and plan your time off accordingly. Create a detailed schedule outlining when you’ll be fully engaged in holiday festivities and when you’ll dedicate time to catch up on work if necessary. This foresight ensures that you can enjoy your break without the stress of unexpected work piling up. 

Top Tip: Look for projects, tasks, or outgoing material that can be automated. Extra work early on can create a lot of margins further down the line. 

Did you know that LinkedIn has an out-of-office option? 

3. Embrace the Power of Ho-Ho-‘No’: 

Saying ‘no’ can be challenging, especially when colleagues or clients request your assistance during the holiday season. However, it’s essential to recognize your limits and not overcommit. Politely but firmly decline additional work that may encroach upon your designated rest time. This not only preserves your well-deserved break but also sets a precedent for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Top Tip: Use or rework one of these British (because it somehow feels better coming from a Brit, and as Brit authoring this blog, I can say that) phrases from Belinda Weaver’s article, The Subtle Art of Saying No (and guilt-free ways to say it). 

  • Sadly, I have something else going on. 
  • I have another commitment. 
  • I wish I were able to. 
  • I’m afraid I can’t. 
  • I just don’t have the bandwidth/time/availability for that right now. 
  • I’m honored you asked me, but I simply can’t. 
  • Thanks for thinking of me. However, I’m not able to. 
  • I’m sorry, I’m not able to fit this in. 
  • Unfortunately, I already have plans. Maybe next time! 
  • Thanks, but that’s not going to work for me. 

Practice in the mirror, with a trusted co-worker or your cat. 

4. Create a Relaxing Workspace: 

Even if you’re working remotely, try to create a dedicated workspace that fosters relaxation. This could be a cozy corner with festive decorations or a well-organized desk that allows you to focus on tasks without feeling overwhelmed. A designated workspace helps in compartmentalizing work-related stress and enables you to mentally detach during your time off. 

Top Tip(s):  

  • Swap out your regular mug for a holiday mug. 
  • Change your screen wallpaper to something festive.  
  • Create a holiday playlist for some background music.  
  • Light a scented candle (in a well-ventilated area) 

5. Unplug and Disconnect: 

The digital age has made it increasingly challenging to disconnect from work entirely. However, to truly enjoy your holiday break, it’s essential to unplug from your work devices and notifications. Set clear expectations with your team and communicate that you’ll be unavailable during specific times. This conscious effort to disconnect will contribute significantly to your ability to recharge and savor the holiday spirit. 

Top Tip: block time off on your calendar for extended lunch breaks, leaving early or cookie o’clock… 

6. Prioritize Self-Care: 

The holidays are a time for joy and celebration, but they’re also an opportunity to focus on self-care. Prioritize activities that bring you happiness and relaxation, whether it’s spending time with family, engaging in a favorite hobby, or simply taking long walks in the crisp winter air. Remember that a well-rested and rejuvenated mind is more productive in the long run. 

Top Tip: Take a neighborhood walk to look at the Christmas lights.  

7. Reflect on Achievements: 

As the year comes to a close, take some time to reflect on your professional achievements and personal growth. Acknowledge the challenges you’ve overcome and the skills you’ve developed throughout the year. This reflection can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation as you head into the new year. 

Top Tip: Write yourself a card congratulating yourself on what you’re most proud of, or plan a small indulgence to “treat yo’ self” as a reward for what you’ve accomplished. The psychological impact of thanking yourself is surprisingly profound. 

The (Gift) Wrap Up 

Navigating rest during the holidays from a remote work perspective requires intentional planning and a commitment to self-care. By establishing clear boundaries, planning ahead, embracing the power of ‘no,’ creating a relaxing workspace, unplugging and disconnecting, prioritizing self-care, and reflecting on achievements, remote workers can make the most of their holiday break. Home for the holidays should not only be a physical location, but also a state of mind where rest and rejuvenation take center stage.  

If you’re a people leader, then you have permission to lead by example; your team will thank you. We all deserve rest, reflection, and rejuvenation.  

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