Let’s face it, it’s hard to spread holiday cheer when you’re stuck working long holiday hours. Most of your friends and family are at home unwrapping presents, stuffing their faces with turkey, and sipping eggnog by the fire.
But no, not you!
You’re the office warrior.
The restaurant hero.
The retail champion that keeps things moving even when the rest of the world is ready to relax.
Without you, everything would stop for days on end.
Most of us have been there and nothing positive ever comes from feeling bad about the situation. It’s time to say no to negativity and make the most out of your holiday.
Here are some proven ways to help you stay happy while working long holiday hours.
Help others have even more fun over the holidays
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Spreading happiness to others can actually make you feel happier inside. Holiday giving and helping others is a powerful tool for combatting holiday grumpiness.
People are looking to you for a positive holiday experience. Why not give it to them? Whether it’s covering for someone at work or simply putting on a smile, you’re letting others enjoy the holidays. Remember that each hour you work, you are improving the lives of other people.
Celebrate with others that have to work over the holidays
If you’re part of a team that is working over the holidays and you like to have fun (which I hope you do), there’s no reason you can’t celebrate at work with your coworkers.
Set up a mini holiday party of your own with fun events like a white elephant gift exchange or a potluck where everyone brings delicious foods and desserts.
The best holiday work celebrations are the ones that make people laugh and smile. Remember that you don’t need a huge budget for it to be a success.
Create a separate time to celebrate with family and friends
Even if it feels like forever, your shift will eventually end. That’s when it’s time to get creative. There’s no rulebook that says you have to commemorate New Year’s Eve on December 31st!
Set aside time in advance with your friends and family to celebrate the holidays. Trust me, they’ll totally understand and chances are they would be more than happy to continue the party with you.
Having a celebration planned for when you’re not working will be something for you to look forward to.
Remember that it’s helping your career
While everyone else is at home, you’re plugging away at work showing your boss and coworkers that you are willing to step up to the plate and take on whatever the company throws at you.
Nothing says, “I love my job” or “I’m dedicated to this company” more than taking on long holiday hours when others are not interested. It provides an excellent opportunity to go the extra mile and may be the difference maker in a promotion down the road.
Think about the vacation days ahead
If you work long hours on a holiday when a majority of workers are taking it off, then say “HELLO” to extra time off in the future. You won’t feel the least bit bad asking your boss to take an extra day off on your own vacation. Think of it as a “get out of work free” card for the future.
Thoughts of those extra vacation days paying off while you’re stuck at work during the holidays just might make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Keep in touch with your family during your shift
Staying in touch with your family while you’re at work can help to lighten your spirits and take your mind of work. Have them send you funny pictures or make time for a video call so they can show you what’s going on around the house.
Nothing makes for good laugh better than a family member telling stories of what it used to be like, “back in their day.” Talking to your family while you’re at work will make you feel more involved and you’ll find happiness in knowing that others are thinking of you and miss you.
Treat yourself once it’s all over
Working during the holidays is a stressful time to say the least. Once your shift is over, plan a special activity for yourself that you wouldn’t normally do. Go out to a fancy dinner. Book a day at the spa. Get a massage. Splurge on something new to add to your wardrobe or home. You’ll be happy knowing that you’ve really earned this one.
If you’re working the holidays this year, remember that there is a happy side. After all, that is what the holiday season is about! There are people, work people, who need you and who are counting on you for the holidays.
You are a clutch team player and everyone in the office appreciates your work, even if they don’t tell it to you personally. You’re making all the difference during the holidays.