Our Head of High Street Engagement, Katie McKenna, offers some words of wisdom on making the most of the festive season - and taking some time to look after yourself.
‘Tis the season for ridiculous Christmas jumpers, turkey and overindulgence. It’s also the season for deadlines, clients hoping to get everything completed before their holidays start and burning the candle at both ends.
In turn, it’s time to make sure that everyone takes a moment to look after themselves. Self care is hugely important - how can you pour from an empty cup?
Where to start? Think about how you spend your day. How long do you spend staring at a screen or a phone? This can take a huge toll on your mental wellbeing. Where possible, exposure should be minimised. I understand that the thought of removing your Facebook app or deleting your emails from your phone can seem daunting but having bitten the bullet and done it myself, I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my own health. It can be an addiction, scrolling without thinking, not to mention the toll that this behaviour can have on those around you – look up from your screen and engage with the human beings close to you.
Want to know what someone has been up to? Call them and find time to have a proper face-to-face conversation. Finished for the day? Stop working. Another unthinkable thought! However, I know your mind (and the people around you) will thank you for it. This is definitely a good one to practise over the Christmas holidays. You work hard and DESERVE time to dedicate to those you love without distraction.
When was the last time you looked at your annual leave allocation? Have you got some left? If so, USE it. This is a basic right afforded to all employees across Scotland. I understand you are important and your clients need your services, but you should utilise your holiday entitlement and use it to bring you joy. Go for a walk, catch up with friends, decorate for the festive season or volunteer somewhere to make the world a nicer place.
There is a lot of stress generated at this time of year by the sheer number of Christmas parties, engagements and catch ups. It’s common sense but should be confirmed - you don’t have to say yes to every Christmas party invitation you receive! Be selective and don’t go to things that will make you feel bad about yourself.
Practise gratitude. Take a moment to think about the positive aspects of your existence and write a list of each thing that you are thankful for. For me, I am hugely grateful for my supportive husband, my wonderful friends and family, a job I enjoy and the opportunity to travel the world.
It’s not an exhaustive list but hopefully a good starter for ten to have a healthier Christmas.
Enjoy your festive break and be kind to yourself as well as to those around you.