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Christmas is one week away, and for many of us, that means we’ll have a chance to enjoy some much-anticipated time off.

As much as we look forward to powering down for the holidays, actually doing so can be tricky. We may fill our time off to the brim, either with festive activities or with neglected to-do-list items at home. Work stress may follow us home and leave a dreary mark, like a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking. Or, we may have a hard time stepping away because of unfinished projects—or because our “office” is the same laptop we use to look up Christmas cookie recipes and Zoom with far-away family members.

Whatever the case may be for you, we hope the advice below, which we’ve compiled from past editions, can help you prepare for and enjoy a truly restorative holiday break, whether you’re taking off for a week, a day, or an afternoon.

01. Tend to the practical.

We’ve written before about the importance of creating a ritual to wrap up your week, a “shutdown” routine to cue your brain into knowing that it’s time to be done with the week. This idea can also be applied to the holidays. Build in a few minutes at the end of your workday before you take off to give yourself some closure—for instance, scan your inbox for anything that’s immediately pressing, make note of your top priorities for when you get back, and take a few minutes to reflect back on the good parts of your week or day.


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