People look forward to the holidays to unwind from the difficulties of the past year and to spend much-needed quality time with loved ones. For at least a week just before the beginning of the new year, people are generally in a cheerier mood, and for just a few moments, can leave their worries behind. That is until the holidays are over.
Shifting gears from a relaxing holiday to getting back into the grind can be stressful, especially when there is work waiting on the desk. It has been much more difficult these past few years due to COVID-19 because there is no physical transition from house to office. In some cases, people who do not have a separate home office find themselves working in the same place that they relax, requiring more effort than usual to get back into the mode of working.
Aside from getting back to the realities of the daily grind, some find themselves trying to recover from the festivities that may be taking a toll on their body. This can be from traveling a considerable amount of distance to be with family, excessively gorging on holiday meals, or simply winding down after numerous social engagements.
Whatever the reason is, people normally dread to return to their responsibilities which can be a source of stress. Here are some ways to mitigate that overwhelming feeling of returning back to work after the holidays.
- Transition slowly
Normally, people would check their inboxes once they get to their work desks. Immediately seeing that pile of emails that need to be answered can be stressful. While there are potentially a dozen of emails to get through, start the day at your own pace, get your coffee ready, and settle down to put yourself in a good mindset first before poring through your work.
- Adjust your mindset
Speaking of mindset, make sure that you are in a good mood before work. Oftentimes, people immediately stress themselves out with the idea of going back to work. Instead of focusing on the negative, make sure you are surrounded by things that put you in a positive attitude like playing good music or reorganizing your desk for a change.
- Plan your day ahead
Planning out your day can not only help you organize how you want to work, but it also helps you figure out the most important tasks that need to be done. Simply blindly going through your work without any plan in mind might end up with you wasting time just thinking about what to do next. This also helps you set the pace for how you will work and avoid getting overwhelmed with other tasks that can be done on another day.
- Socialize with colleagues
More often than not, your co-workers may be feeling the same way about going back to work. Instead of keeping it to yourself, have short watercooler sessions with your colleagues or hang out to the extent possible and share how you feel. You may even share stories about what you did during the holiday vacation. The bottom line here is that you do not need to go through it alone.
- Schedule your next vacation
It might sound ridiculous to immediately think of a vacation right after having a holiday break, but having something to look forward to can help lift up your spirits. Knowing that there is a vacation planned ahead can also help motivate you and put you in a better mindset as you start your work.
People usually anticipate the amount of work that they need to get back to once the holidays are over. While it is true that responsibilities will still be there even as a new year begins, knowing how to take things slow, prepare mindsets, plan ahead, engage with people, and even look forward to the next vacation will help lessen that stress that comes after the holidays and start your new year right at work.
Special meals and sweets often indicate the festivities, making it one of the most essential features during the year-end holidays. The abundance of food can also bring people to partake in holiday eating, which is the overindulgence of relatively unhealthy food. To avoid that, meal planning can be a good strategy to stay healthy during and after the holidays while still enjoying good food.
Challenges in meal planning
Eating unhealthy food could jeopardize one’s working performance after the holidays. Optimal nutrition intake during the holidays can mitigate this and help to feel refreshed even after the holidays. However, preparing this kind of meal could be challenging for some people especially during holidays when portions are usually bigger to accommodate families and other guests.
Cooking also requires time and energy. Time scarcity, which is a condition when someone perceives their time is not enough for doing everything that needs to be done, was found to cause the rise of fast and convenient food consumption. Research from Universitatea Transilvania Brasov also discovered that time management and healthy eating are associated wherein planning meals can help a person have clear objectives as well as enhance the quality and complexity of food.
Meal planning may vary depending on how, where, and with whom someone spends their holidays. Many people use holidays as the time to reconnect with their families and friends either by staying at home or traveling. To make holiday meals healthier with your loved ones, here are two ways of meal planning at home and during traveling.
Meal planning for holidays at home
Some people accept guests during holidays, but even for those who celebrate holidays with just their immediate family members, the food needs to be extraordinary. Big portions and grand menus would take plenty of time. Meal planning makes it possible for individuals to think about recipes that could be done quickly such as preparing the ingredients in advance to avoid the feeling of not having enough time. Here are some tips to have stress free holidays meal preparation:
- Estimate the number of people you’re expecting over and consider their dietary needs, allergies, and food preferences.
- Research holiday menus, take note of the time needed to prepare the food, and list down the ingredients modified with the portion quantities. Try to balance carbs, proteins, and vegetables.
- Separate grocery lists for perishable and nonperishable items. Perishable foods should be bought a day before to guarantee freshness while nonperishable items could be bought 1-2 weeks before the holiday. Supermarkets are usually very crowded near holidays; by buying nonperishable items in advance, you can avoid having a long list of groceries and that long line towards the checkout.
- Make a schedule on when to serve the main meals and the sweets. Try to serve sweets in between the meals to avoid family members, especially children, feeling full during mealtimes.
Meal planning for holidays away from home
One might find difficulty in controlling the amount of food that they eat during trips or staycations because they can only eat what is available in whichever restaurant is within reach or have limited time to prepare their own food. A study in Scotland about children’s holiday eating habits found that nuggets and burgers were always found in kid’s menus provided by hotels. These types of menus focus more on making smaller portions compared to adults instead of the nutritional needs of the children.
Meal planning can help parents have more control over what they eat as a family. Planning vacation meals also lessens the burden on decision-making on food and focuses more on having fun. Here are some tips for meal planning ahead of time before traveling:
- Consider and check the menus and cooking facilities provided by your accommodation. If there is no functional kitchen with a fridge and stove available, you can prepare meals ahead of time or bring portable cooking equipment such as an electric pot, induction stove, etc.
- In the case that there’s a nearby supermarket available, you can plan on buying the ingredients for your meals from there
- Keep the meal plan as simple as possible.
- Plan ahead if you want to eat out by doing a quick check of restaurants and the menus. Eating out is fun, but spontaneously eating out should be avoided if possible.
The holidays are a time to recharge and have joyful moments with your loved ones over delicious food. However, holiday eating encourages people to consume more portions, including sugary and fatty foods that could affect one’s physical health after the holiday. That’s why planning out your meals is a good coping strategy to make meals more nutritious while avoiding unhealthy holiday eating habits.
The holiday season is a time when everyone is looking forward to spending some family time, eating good food, and getting lots of presents. This can also be a stressful time for many companies. The holidays are often the busiest and most profitable time of the year for stores, restaurants, and even online retailers. However, this means that it can be challenging for a company to maintain high standards while keeping up with demand.
The holidays can also be the best opportunity to attract new customers. While the holidays are not yet on sight for most consumers, brands and retailers know that planning for those moments of success begins now. As the vacation season begins to gain traction, organizations need to consider what the season means for their business and how the holidays will affect their bottom line.
This is why it is important to start preparing for the holidays several months in advance. October may seem early, but the two-month pillow gives you plenty of time to check and make adjustments before the holiday hustle and bustle. When the holiday shopping season kicks in, you won’t have time for anything drastic.
Preparation for the holidays
This holiday shopping season could be just as important for small businesses in the retail or B2B sector, especially as customer behavior changes, aiming for a seamless shopping experience from online shopping to in-store shopping. Customers who have not decided yet on holiday food would most likely want to stock up on ingredients right away. People are also starting to consider where to go on vacation and when by looking up deals and packages.
Companies must be prepared to increase sales and match or outpace competitive offerings in a dynamic vacation market. Preparing for the shopping season will ensure you get the most sales and the most satisfied customers. Make sure you have a plan to quickly purchase additional inventory if your vacation sales are better than expected.
Planning ahead can help you stock up on everything your customers need while ensuring that your employees’ needs are met so they can better serve your customers. Experts advise that the sooner small business owners start developing a vacation plan, the better. In a small business, automation of work processes will significantly save time while on vacation.
Also, keep track of your inventory and make sure you have a good understanding of what buyers will be looking for while on vacation. Check out last year’s orders to anticipate the number of essential supplies that you and your customers will need, whether it’s shipping supplies and packaging, paper towels and toilet paper, or branded gift certificates for holiday shoppers.
If you are not launching a new product, you can use the planning phase to think about how to modify an existing product to make it especially attractive for a particular holiday. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to completely change the product; instead, you can promote it in a way that is in line with the holiday.
If you take the right steps, you can capitalize on the holidays and grab the attention of your clients during this busy time of year. Companies can prepare for the holiday rush by meeting the expectations of all stakeholders. Overall, as a business, you need to prepare yourself to welcome a wide range of customers in order to maximize your success this holiday season.