For those working in Retail, Christmas is probably the busiest period of the year. This usually means more sales, but it can also mean stress, fatigue, feeling rundown or even getting sick. If you are in the trenches during this silly season, this blog post is for you.
Everyone wants a piece of you, work Christmas parties, friends who want to see you just in case next year never comes, you need to find time to buy presents and then there’s also family commitments. All that while you go through the busiest time at work and deal with demanding customers. I bet you’re really looking forward to it, aren’t you?
Let’s step right out of all this madness for a minute and bring some perspective here. During this period, you’re likely to socialise more, spend more money, eat more, potentially drink more and engage in more commitments than you normally would. There are mainly two environments that you’ll have to factor in: at work and outside of work. The key to surviving and keep your sanity during this time of the year is to look after yourself. I know, surprised, aren’t you? Very simple, but not easy.
Looking after yourself may not come naturally to you. If you’re someone who likes to over-deliver and please everyone, you may not be used to putting yourself first before others. I totally get that, but put it this way: who wants to be spending Christmas (whether it’s at work or home) with a grumpy, tired, stressed or even sick individual?
That’s right, no one does. And no one likes to feel like that either.
So for that reason, we thought it would be really helpful to put together a few suggestions so you can not only survive but, who knows, maybe even enjoy and hit your sales targets this Christmas.
There will always be unexpected events that will make what started as an amazing day, go pear-shaped. But if you plan well ahead, these should be the exception, not the norm. Make sure you and your team are clear on the tasks to be done for the day and in preparation for the next. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Take your scheduled breaks
Your breaks should be part of the plan. If they’re not, your first task is to include them in your plan. Your store will get busy, but no one in your store wants to be helped by a grumpy and tired looking person. It’s for you as much as for your dear customers.
Eat well and stay hydrated
Christmas is a very well known time of the year for cutting loose and overindulging oneself. We all have our favourite treats and, of course, you should treat yourself. And you can also be smart about it. You don’t need to eat a Christmas meal for three days in a row (regardless of how delicious it may be!) just because you’ve got a huge amount of leftovers. Turn them into healthy meals that give you the energy to walk around the busy store during Boxing Day sales. There’s plenty of sites with heaps of ideas on how to make the most of these meals. And make sure you always have a bottle of water so you can track how much you drink. You will avoid a headache or two!
For some people, Christmas is a very special time and they really want to make a difference through their presents. They will put a lot of pressure for you to deliver the impossible and even openly demand the impossible to happen. If that’s the case, count to 10, take 5 deep breaths and let it go. I know, their lack of planning doesn’t create an emergency on your behalf. But just don’t take it personally, be kind to yourself and try to be the bigger person. This will surely make a difference to their customer experience and you’ll thank yourself for it later.
Reward your team and yourself
After a big day, you deserve to reward yourselves. It can be as simple as having some nibbles at the end of the day or as organised as going out for dinner. It’s your choice, but make sure to celebrate success to keep the spirits up.
Ask for help
Now, this can be a tricky one for many. We all like to show how capable we are and feel like asking for help is a sign of weakness. So we keep taking more on, doing more and all of a sudden we fall into a black hole we can’t get out of. We all have different pain thresholds, make sure you know where yours is and ask for help to avoid feeling the pain.
There are many ways in which you can exercise, we all have different levels of fitness. Whether it’s going for a walk to clear your head or running a half marathon, exercise is a critical component to your health and wellbeing. It’s going to get busy, so make sure you block some time to exercise or it will be easily forgotten.
This is one of my favourites. Someone told me once: “NO is a complete sentence”. As mentioned before, everyone will want a piece of you and it’s ok for you to opt out if you need to. There are plenty of opportunities to engage with family and friends, choose wisely and have the courage to say NO.
On the flip side, when you do opt in, be present. Avoid thinking about the million things that you need to do tomorrow or the next day at work. To many people, Christmas is a very special time and they value that time you’re spending with them. Make sure you reciprocate by being present.
You probably have heard it all before, but sometimes we all need a simple reminder that it’s ok to say NO and that you’re allowed to put yourself first before others. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about being smart. Who is going to enjoy Christmas with you and hit all the sales targets if you’re stressed out and sick? Christmas is a special time, so make sure you look after yourself and make the most of it!