Christmas is a great opportunity to relax and recharge, but if you’re like us, you might find it hard to just drop everything and take it easy.

Instead, you are just as likely to spend the first half of your long-anticipated break worrying about an unfinished project, checking your emails, and stuck with your brain in the office while your body is on leave.

2015_DEC_PRODUCTIVITY - How to relax and enjoy the holidays this Christmas

So, in the interests of your mental health, we’ve put together the top five ways to ensure you relax this Christmas, because – just like other achievements – relaxing takes planning.

1. Prepare for your holiday, don’t just take it

If you run into your holidays at full speed, it could take half of your time off just to unwind. Take some time before your holiday to prepare: if you’re going away, pack ahead of time and build the anticipation. When you do this, you can go into day one of your vacation fully rested and ready to enjoy.

2. Equip your team, and yourself, for your break

Leaving work behind is difficult. If you can, spend at least two weeks before you leave asking yourself questions like “what needs to be completed so that very little needs doing while I’m away?” and “ do those remaining at work have what they need to do it?”. By having these things sorted before you leave, you can have peace of mind knowing that everything will be okay in your absence.

3. Pick a goal for your holidays

Work tends to fill a void, so you are more likely to chill out if you have another goal. Nothing too strenuous; it could be something as simple as reading a few books, taking pictures, or a fitness goal like walking each day. You’ll feel less restless and more rested if you have some easy, relaxing goals.

4. Make sure your out-of-office auto-replies are on before you leave

Otherwise you’ll have to log into your email while you’re on leave and you’ll be straight back in work mode again.

5. Check out the Christmas lights

Finally – nothing takes you to the parallel Christmas universe faster than checking out the Christmas lights, especially if you have kids.

Erin Haywood simPRO

By integrating every aspect of your business, simPRO allows you to easily identify the who, what, where, when and how-much of any job. Get your work done on time and get paid on time. simPRO job management software helps simplify your processes and improve your bottom line.