12 Most Compelling Reasons To Be At Peace During the Holidays
With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas and Chanukah a mere month away, lots of people are probably telling you to give thanks. They’re giving you advice, lists and recommendations on how to think about thankfulness in a time of uncertainty and economic distress.
I’ve been thinking along different lines. Thankfulness is all well and good – we each can find reasons to be thankful – but peace is another thing entirely. I think laughter is often the best solution for just about anything in life and career.
Peace is part of the holiday equation, right up there with joy and thanks. We’ve covered thanks (or left it to others;) joy is an intangible, highly personal sensation, a bit emotionally charged for a blog. Let’s look at peace, which I think is under-rated.
When was the last time you really felt at peace? What would it take to get there, perhaps even to sustain the sensation? Can there be peace if you’re not 100 percent happy in the workplace? Is it even reasonable to expect peace in the workplace?
Let’s look at six workplace peace-breakers, and then at six peace builders. Who knows? You could be at peace by the end of this blog. Wink.
1. Holiday music, especially in the workplace
With the possible exception of Ode to Joy it’s tough to come up with any peaceful holiday music. From the nasty hilarity (the first time) of ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ to the sappy exhortation to ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, it’s tough to tolerate holiday music, especially in the workplace. Unless you have earplugs, expect to lose any sense of peace.
2. Holiday office parties
A complete buzz-kill. Celebrating with co-workers is just dangerous. So much has been written about this it’s not worth a review. Just know those parties won’t always lead to peaceful feelings.
3. Yankee swaps
Fighting over the sole Chia-pet is no way to achieve peace. Take what you get and leave as early as possible.
4. The office open house
If your workplace leaders think it’s a great idea to have an open house for families, clients and prospects, shelve the notion of peace. Small children sticking their grubby hands in bowls of food, unhappy spouses, edgy clients – it’s a recipe for disaster, and it gets worse if the management expects you to bring the food.
5. Office decorations
Particularly difficult in workplaces with people of many faiths (which is pretty much all of them.) Flashing lights are not a good thing, especially if you’re trying to get things done.
6. Holiday emails to clients
What could be worse? Hideous emails with insincere, sappy sentiments, with a sub-text of ‘don’t fire us.’ Ah, we though of what’s worse: the bounced emails and unsubscribes. No peace there.
Whether it’s leading a workplace drive to gather donations for a food pantry or helping out at a shelter, giving back can lead to deep feelings of peace.
8. Set aside a day (or more) of contemplation
The holidays mark year’s end. If you can wrap work up with a few days to spare, set aside the time for reflection. What went well? What didn’t? Where do you want to be, and how can you get there? Get this taken care of before the New Year and you won’t feel as pushed to make resolutions you can’t meet – and you may find some much-needed peace.
9. Clean your office
Give yourself the gift of a clean office and you’ll feel better. You may even feel it’s a more peaceful and productive place to be.
10. Recognize the efforts of your team members
Whether you have direct reports or a matrix-managed workplace, take the time to recognize the hard work of those on your teams. This has to be a genuine effort or it will backfire, but if you approach the taks with humility and an open mind, it may bring you peace.
11. Go home early
Try to get to the office a bit earlier, and leave earlier. Take some of the rush out of your day and you’ll be closer to feeling at peace.
12. Give yourself a present (or even a break)
Recognize and acknowledge your hard work. Congratulate yourself for surviving another year, maybe in a job you don’t love, certainly in a difficult job market. Accept yourself and you’ll find precious peace.
How do you achieve a sense of peace in this tough world of work?