November 28, 2019
by Jillian Cecchini, Managing Editor
Let’s talk about the month of December.
It’s that time of year when my office becomes increasingly empty as the days pass. My fellow employees start to use the rest of their allotted vacation time and I can’t help but worry if every task will be checked off not only my shopping list but my day-to-day work list. Preparing for the holiday season, and for the following year, is not easy. The team at Oral Health is already in the final stages of production on our January 2020 issue! December is meant to be a time of good cheer, celebration and relaxation, but for many, including myself, the holiday season is slightly stressful.
Given that most people aren’t around, shouldn’t it be easy to prepare for time off over the holidays? I can simply put on my out-of-office and I’m good to go, right? Wrong. This would absolutely cause me to be overly worried and focused on work during my time off. Should I check my email? Did I forget to do something before I left? What do I have to do when I get back to the office?
Pre-vacation stress typically falls into two categories: completing all of your work before your time off and being out of the office. Do I attempt to get all of the extra work done before I leave, or work throughout my vacation time rather than prioritize? In the first case, it’s easy to become overstressed, and in the second, I could end up resentful for being physically away from the office but mentally still at work.
While it’s difficult to remove all stress as you plan to leave the office, it’s essential to take real time off from work to recharge. There’s never going to be an ideal time to be out of the office but it’s vital to your happiness, well-being and productivity to take some time to step away and focus on you.
While bosses have a responsibility to encourage staff to take a break, at the end of the day, you also have a responsibility to yourself. We all know that patient care never takes a back seat. Perhaps the holiday season is a busier time in your office because of your patients taking time off or trying to utilize what’s left of their insurance. That being said, it’s important to prepare and plan for work to continue on with less staff than you’re used to. If you plan appropriately for what needs to be accomplished before you leave the office and for when you return, you may be able to eliminate some of the inevitable stress.
My advice? Take that well-deserved break and return to work in the new year full of fresh energy and motivation. Recharge your minds and your bodies. Sleep in, have that extra piece of dessert, and enjoy every moment with your loved ones.
Wishing you all a wonderful and safe holiday season.