7 Tips to Help
1. Eat healthy. Surveys show that finding time to eat right is challenging year-round for many doctors, especially busy professionals who frequently consume meals “on the go.” Over the holidays, take a piece of that pineapple upside-down cake, but keep your cravings in check. Moderation is the key. Healthy home-cooking services like Freshology, Blue Apron, Plated and HelloFresh are decent options.
2. Find time for fun and humor. “The holidays are not a time of increased stress for me,” says Norman Levine, M.D., a dermatologist in Tucson, Ariz. He uses the extra time away from the office to take long walks with his dog, take leisurely bike rides and watch more Phoenix Suns basketball games. “In that way,” he quips, “any stress is miraculously converted into anger and frustration.”
3. Breathe deeply. It’s amazing what 10 minutes of shut-eye and deep breathing can do. Regularly practicing breathing and awareness techniques is super-simple, and at the very least, you deserve some time to yourself. The Headspace site and app — the first 10 sessions are free — is a great place to start.
4. Sharpen your scheduling next year. You aren’t the only one who needs time off from work. Colleagues do, too, which places a premium on scheduling. It’s smart to start planning in the late summer for the holiday barrage of teammate off-days.
5. Outsource or delegate more. When you make your to-do lists (at home and work) through New Year’s Day, check it twice — you’re going to find out who else can handle some of it. Outsource or delegate a little more. Your time is limited and valuable, so make sure to spend it wisely.
6. Communicate. Ask your family what they need most from you. It may be something different than you think. (Ask your office staff, too.)
7. Remember what matters. It’s an ideal time of year to pause and reflect on why you do what you do, both at work and home. Every day you impact lives, and those folks also impact you. Take a moment to nod to the person in the mirror, and express gratitude for those you love. (Don’t wake up Grandpa Eddie yet, though.)
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a calmer mind with less stress. You’ll be more ready to flip the calendar to 2018 in a better mindset, ready to tackle your schedule with renewed energy.