How To Navigate The Holiday Season At Your First Job

Congratulations on acquiring your first job! While you’re starting to understand the working world, you might have a difficult time setting boundaries, particularly when you need to think about the holidays and spending more time with your family and friends.

The holidays can be tricky to navigate in a situation you’re not used to, but the best you can do is make the most of your time in the office and have a holiday season to remember. This season will give you experience for future holidays with possibly other workplaces in the coming years.

1. Watch Your Mental Health

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is check on your mental health during one of the busiest times of the year. Around 10 million Americans experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a seasonal depression that typically emerges in the winter but can sometimes manifest in the summer. Spending much of your time at work might add to your stress, so be sure to take time for yourself and try to avoid burnout.

You should also consider your physical health during the holidays. You want to spend as much time in the present with your loved ones as possible, so when you can be away from screens, you should. You might spend plenty of time at work staring at a screen, especially if you’re trying to get things done before you leave for the holidays.

As a whole, Americans spend around $15 billion on eyewear each year because they find it hard to step away from screens. Make sure to acquire blue light protection glasses if you work long hours in front of a screen.

2. Know Your Days Off

Some jobs might only give you major observed holidays off, while others might give you additional days off, like New Year’s Eve in addition to New Year’s Day. Be sure to ask for additional days off as soon as you know you’ll need them, as you’ll be more likely to get them.

If you work remotely, you may have the opportunity to swap one of your official days off with a different one that you need or for a different holiday the office doesn’t close for. The only downside is that you’ll be working on a day when most everyone else will be off, but it might be worth it.

3. Stay As Organized As Possible

With so many things happening during the season, it can be difficult to keep up with every appointment and event you’re scheduled for. Getting together with others for the holidays might also leave you drained, so make sure to go easy on yourself if you plan your own schedule for the day.

You can use color coding to your advantage when determining which meetings and appointments are the highest priorities. See if lower-priority items can wait until after the holidays for the sake of decreasing your stress.

4. Participate In Gift-Giving

If your office has a holiday party, lean into it. You’ll want to get to know the people you work with a little better, and the best way to do that is to socialize with them outside of working hours. Your office might participate in a gift exchange with a set limit on gifts. You can opt out if you want, but opting into this gift exchange is a great way to get to know your coworkers better.

Some offices might opt for a virtual get-together instead of an in-person one. These virtual get-togethers can feature catered food brought to the company or digital gift-giving, which prioritizes gift cards or other contactless delivery methods. Use these face-to-face opportunities, even if they may be virtual, to network with your colleagues and learn from them. You may even find a mentor in your own workplace.

5. Spend Time With Loved Ones

When working your first job, you may think that it would reflect badly on you to request more time off to be with your loved ones. However, your employer shouldn’t have an issue with you spending time with your friends and family, especially during the holidays.

If your job doesn’t allow you to take time off, you may have to choose between your loved ones and your workplace. Try to keep a healthy work-life balance, but when you’re forced into a tough spot, remember that a job can always replace you – but it can’t replace your loved ones.

Enjoy The Holidays To Their Fullest

The greatest part about being employed during the holidays is celebrating them with your coworkers. Whether you pick up more stress during the end of the year or enjoy a few different parties at your workplace, you can’t deny that the holidays are still the most wonderful time of the year.

Remember to keep your work-life balance going strong all year long and you should have a fantastic holiday season, both with your loved ones and with everyone at your workplace.

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