Celebrating Downtime in December

Celebrating Downtime in December

As is becoming our standard operating procedure, Hartstein Psychological Services will be closed for the week between Christmas and the New Year. We recognize the need to practice what we preach and know that self-care is one of the important things on which we need to focus.

Adam Grant, an expert in the world of organizational psychology, feels that this time of year shouldn’t be a time to recharge. Rather, it should be a time to celebrate. He highlights the idea that work should not be exhausting people and we want to be mindful of burnout.

While I agree on many levels, I think it is also important to note that work can be exhausting, especially when combined with the ongoing uncertainty of life in general these days. Prioritizing self-care, in whatever form that takes, is vital for efficiency and productivity.

So, for December, we focus on the need to slow down, take time to build connections and to promote relaxation. You may be saying, “how do I do that in the face of holidays, family, commitment, etc?” It starts with setting boundaries and healthy expectations.

As an extension of “NO”vember, prioritize your needs over others. Remember how we talked about the importance of saying no? That continues to be key as we are in the holiday season. Don’t want to go to that second cousin’s holiday party? You can choose to stay home. Only want to make a quick appearance at the company celebration? Identify what you are willing to do and stick to it. Want to just chill out in front of the television and relax? Give yourself permission to do it.

Downtime does provide the recharge we need. The way to gain its full benefit is to realize when you need it BEFORE you actually do. To me, that’s the key in using it to the fullest.

So, find time to celebrate with those you love and care about. Take the time you need for yourself, without excuse or hesitation. Be mindful about the time you take so you can experience it fully. Allow yourself to begin the new year with open hearts, clear eyes and fresh minds. I know we at HPS are hoping to do that ourselves.

Authored by: Dr. Jennifer Hartstein