Three hundred sixty-five days, 12 months, 52 weeks, and 525,600 minutes in a year, and at some point, in that time frame, the trees have lost their leaves, the temperature is dropping, you’re hearing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” blasting everywhere you go, greens, reds, mistletoes, etc. Is it any more evident that the holiday season is upon us? The ever-so-deafening rush of people running down stores to get last-minute gifts or ingredients for their homes. Maybe the last gasp of releasing you need to organize your home before guests arrive, there it is, the holiday brain has been activated. It’s true, but what is that? No worries, continue reading as I share with you how our brain functions during the holiday season and some ways you can tackle the end-of-the-year spirit and ring in new energy into 2023.
According to Harvard Medical School, the brain essentially goes into overdrive because the holiday season often requires us to keep track of and pay attention to more responsibilities than usual. Holiday stress is a special kind of stress; look at it this way, an acute reaction to an immediate threat. Though there is stress, let’s not forget the joy of the holiday season and how you can stay prepared for next year, whether you’re looking for a new job, trying to be more successful in achieving your goals, or just wanting more personal growth.
Do some journaling this holiday season: I know it sounds silly, but I’m not talking about your deepest darkest secrets, more about self-awareness. Expression through writing can give you a visualization of putting your to-do’s, self-reflection statements, and goals into a broader perspective. Even writing things we often look over can assemble a feeling of gratitude. For example, being able to have a job, wake up every morning, our friends, our pets, your game console, etc. The best part of journaling is that you can only curate it to your personality and your eyes.
Send out holiday cards to loved ones! You do not have to break the bank for this. Buy some stamps and note cards at your local post office and send them away. This builds meaningful “warmest wishes” for the people you care about. This next one is a personal preference, but you can never go wrong with dying your hair or even styling it to your liking. Take a new look, literally. Just don’t do anything crazy if you know you will be job interviewing soon.
Incidentally, suppose you are job searching or trying to excel in your current job. In that case, it never hurts to think now, this holiday season, about the intentions you want to reach professionally and how the dominos can cascade into January, flowing into February, and so on and so on…
Relatively what has helped me is to think about these questions: Where was I a year ago? What changed? What didn’t? What can I improve on? What is something I’m proud of? Use these when you’re thinking of where you want to go professionally. Use the lows you went through this year to give you the motivation and drive to keep moving forward.
This holiday season, remember, our brains will condition themselves to be tired, stressed, and impatient, but with proper planning and deep thought, you will be able to find the best version of yourself this season and next year. For more reading about the Harvard Medical School theory of the holiday brain, check the link here. For additional resources, check our website. Lastly, the Regional Team has officially welcomed our YouTube Podcast channel, and here you can find us talking about job-related topics to help you GED Ready for Your Career.
From the Workforce Solutions family to yours, we wish you a Happy Holidays!
Anastacia Tristan is a College Navigator for the Workforce Solutions Regional Team. She is community oriented and has a passion for bridging the gap between resources and individuals experiencing adversities. Anastacia is fluent in English and Spanish and is a native Houstonian. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from Sweet Briar College.