End of year deadlines that coincide with the holiday season add another layer of stress to the busy workplace. Not only does the holiday break shorten the work month, you then add in staff events and employees’ focus on holiday travel and plans, and it’s even harder to keep people on task.
As an organizational manager, maintaining a calm, composed demeanor is necessary for the good of the department and your own wellbeing. Engaging in a Mindfulness practice can be tremendously helpful in handling the chaotic schedules of the holidays.
Mindfulness is a way of being present in the moment with total awareness. It enables you to bring the very best of yourself to employee interactions and work situations because it raises your consciousness. It gives you a feeling of expansiveness that lets you show up fully awake and authentic. Here are some Mindfulness tips to use through the holidays in your role as a manager to help replace your stress with tranquility and kindness.
Start Your Workday with Focused Breaths
When your workdays are a non-stop succession of back-to-back meetings, appointments, and tasks, it’s critical to take a moment to breathe and regain a sense of serenity. Before the busyness begins each day, pause to focus on your breathing. Taking a few conscious breaths will connect you with your inner stillness. Mindfully breathe into your belly or your heart with this simple exercise:
On the inhalation, (silently) count 1 2 3 4-1.
On the exhalation, count 1 2 3 4- 2.
On the inhalation, count 1 2 3 4- 3.
On the exhalation, count 1 2 3 4- 4.
Repeat to the count of 10.
The more you practice this, the more often you will willingly pause whenever you need to. You’ll soon discover how important and helpful it can be throughout the busy workday to pause and breathe.
Employ Mindful Listening
You can be very busy and distracted during the holidays, which means you may not be doing such a great job of listening to others when they’re talking or asking questions. By being more attentive and making a concerted effort to listen more mindfully, you’re showing them that their opinion matters, and they are worthy of receiving your undivided attention.
Give Others Your Full Attention
The holidays are a time for giving and showing others that you’re thinking of them. What better way to do that than to focus on the staff that works for you? Take time to ask them what they need or could use to improve their work environment. By focusing your attention on how to improve their work lives, you’re showing them that what matters to them, matters to you.
The end of the year is a time when, individually and within the organization, you declare what you want to accomplish in the new year. Why not partner on work-related resolutions among other department heads or within your own team to push an initiative forward and form a stronger bond? That can mean anything from updating credentials together to holding monthly off-site (but on the clock) strategy sessions to introducing an interdepartmental Mindfulness initiative. It’s often more inspiring and motivating to follow through on resolutions with others who will keep each other accountable.
Show your staff your appreciation for a job well done by donating to a nonprofit organization on their behalf. People appreciate when you include them in something that can make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s a gesture that acknowledges the importance of supporting those in need, while honoring those who make your success possible.
During the holidays — and into the new year — give yourself the gift of a regular Mindfulness practice. By being more present and aware, especially during the busy and chaotic holidays, you can manage your stress and enjoy the season, while also showing your appreciation for those who work hard for you and the organization each day of the year.