How to switch off while the Christmas lights switch on

It can sometimes be hard to leave work behind at the office when you come home, especially now that we’re all so connected via various mobile devices. Deadlines might be at the back of your mind while emails from clients are popping up on your phone, making it all the more difficult to relax.

That’s not what you want over the Christmas holidays. You want to be able to relax at home with family and friends, enjoying the food, drink, and festivities. So, how can you switch off for Christmas and enjoy your break from work?

Literally, leave work at the office

Don’t fall for the temptation to just bring a few documents or a file home with you to look over during the holidays. Unless something is absolutely essential, leave everything behind at the office when you come home for your Christmas break.

Set your out of office message

Set an automated email response so that anyone who sends you an email while you’re away will receive a message saying that you’re not available and won’t be checking your emails. In this message, you can provide an alternative point of contact so that anyone emailing you with an emergency can contact you another way.

Turn off notifications

If your work emails are connected to your smartphone or tablet, turn off email notifications on these devices. You won’t be able to relax if your phone keeps buzzing with reminders of work. And with your out of office message set, you know you won’t be missing anything vitally important.


The most important thing to do over Christmas is try to relax. This might not be easy depending on how your family gatherings normally go, but at least work will be one less thing to stress over if you follow these tips:

  • Give yourself permission to relax and do nothing if you want to! Forget about the office!
  • Think about how you want to celebrate Christmas, what is important to you this year? Is it fun, excitement or relaxation? Try and factor that in, rather than running around after others. Try not to be taken hostage by others’ plans if it’s really not what you want to do.
  • Take deep breaths – spending time with the family can be stressful so take deep breaths, think about how much time you want to, and can spend with certain people. Meditation may come in handy too!
  • Have boundaries – if necessary be prepared to limit time with people who you find ‘hard work’ and have boundaries to say ‘no’ if you need to -with kindness of course
  • Get plenty of fresh air – it’s tempting to slouch around but getting out into the fresh air reinvigorates us
  • Get plenty of sleep – it’s tempting to throw away our routines but good sleep is the foundation for a healthy mind and body so try to get plenty of sleep
  • Practise gratitude for what you currently have in your life – this can be a busy time of year so slow down if you feel yourself getting ‘het up’ – be grateful for what you have

I hope you enjoy the festive season and are able to reflect back on the steps and successes you have enjoyed in 2016. If you want to discuss any of the elements of relaxation, setting boundaries, finding balance, gratitude or starting 2018 off with a bang contact me at