A very happy UN-holiday to you all! As we move into the new year, we leave behind the hustle and bustle of months of seemingly non-stop holidays and the insanity they bring. The caravans of travelers “just stopping in to see what you’ve got”. The parade of daycares and mommy-and-me groups showing unexpectedly for programs and tours. The frantic calls from hikers trapped by crazy raccoons…or maybe that’s just me…
My point is, many of us have just come through one of our busiest seasons for public visitors. And, if you’re anything like me, you may be feeling a little bit shell-shocked. But with summer quickly approaching, now is not the time to crash and burn! Before you can get your A-game on though, you need to………
- Take a minute to breathe. No really, breathe! Taking a few minutes a day to sit quietly and breathe slowly and deeply can actually help. Structured breathing slows heart rates and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. You don’t need to bend yourself into a pretzel of a yoga pose either. Just sit still and breathe.
- Go for a walk, real or metaphorical. If things are getting a little too crazy for you, excuse yourself for bit. If you have the time and space, go for a real walk! A little exercise and breathing room is a surefire way to calm yourself down and re-center yourself for work. If you can’t actually leave, take a lap around the office. You’ll achieve the same “chill” without ever leaving the building.
- Find a hobby! All work and no play makes for a nutty interpreter. Find something to focus on that doesn’t involve the workplace or housework (no matter what Mr. Clean says, scrubbing bathrooms is not actually fun). Maybe you’d like to take up knitting. Or gardening. Or running. Whatever it is, if it makes you happy then go for it!
- Turn. Your phone. Off. Folks, we’re not doctors here (unless you are. In which case, I feel like you might be on the wrong blog?) and we’re not on call 24-7. Knowing your phone is on and you are available for *anything* can be tempting, not just for you but for other people too. “Oh no! A glitter supply emergency in the craft cabinet! Quick, call Christine!!!” Uh, no thanks. Trust me folks, no one is going to have a dire interpretation emergency at 3am. You can turn the phone, and yourself, off.
- Let it go. Before you start singing, let me explain: many of us work directly in the public eye. We’re frontline for all of their questions, excitement, and sometimes their anger. The important thing to remember is that we’re usually not the ones they’re really mad at. The cause of their anger could be something completely out of our control, like the weather or sold-out spaces to a program. Or hey, maybe this person is just having a bad day. Don’t take it personally and don’t let them shake you, just let it go.
However you choose to do it, remember to relax and look after yourself this year!