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A quick list for staying sane this season

There are two weeks left until school lets out for the Christmas holidays, and that’s also when I am closing my office for two weeks.

Until then, there are still quite a few things left to do: a move (luckily not me, but I’m helping), grades to be made, a big project that has to be finished by the 23rd, various Christmas parties, the end-of-year letters (or cards?) to my customers and colleagues, writing the final invoices for this year, wrapping up this year and preparing for 2023, wrapping presents (which I have thankfully all bought already – yeah me!), grocery shopping for the holidays…

Writing it out like this leaves me feeling a tad overwhelmed, but I have figured out some ways to stay sane regardless that I am happy to share with you (listed in no particular order):

  • Take time for yourself in between, even if it’s just a cup of coffee next to the lit Advent wreath (with or without a family member or two). Tip: Try Stretchly or a similar program or app if you have a hard time tearing yourself away from the screen.
  • Leave the office when the heating tells you to (I have the thermostat set to “normal” office hours, so it gets chilly after a while if I stay at my desk longer).
  • Go for a walk outside – fresh air! -, and if it’s only a quick round (even only 15 minutes is great!).
  • No feeling guilty sitting on the couch watching a sappy Christmas movie and drinking mulled wine (unless it’s every night…) after a day of hard work!
  • Go to bed at the usual time to get the seven hours required for being a functioning and happy human being in the morning.
  • Let in fresh air at regular intervals.
  • Eat properly and try not to sneak in too many Christmas cookies (a few are ok, though).
  • Hydrate! (And no, mulled wine does not count, sorry.)
  • Don’t neglect your loved ones! The time you spend with them energizes you more than you think! (Just don’t start any arguments if you still have a few hours left in the office…)

I’m slowly learning that, especially when things are getting busy, and I’m at risk of stress overwhelming me, it is more important than ever not to succumb to the temptation of working more and sleeping less, and the only time spent relaxing is while brushing my teeth before I fall into bed, exhausted. That’s a sure way to get burned out…

Now, this may not seem very new or special to some of you, but for me, it’s been quite edifying. I admit, it is still fairly new to me, but I am actually working better and thus more efficiently than when I don’t adhere to this advice – even though I spend less time in the office. Funny, that…

I hope your run-up to the end of the year is more fun than stress!

Feel free to copy this list and expand it! Or even better: share your tips and tricks in the comments!

Photo by Ekaterina Abramova on

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