It might be the happiest time of year, but if you’re working on the frontlines of retail and hospo, it can be the most stressful, time consuming, and distracting time of the year, too. The hours are longer, customers are more demanding, and that Christmas music never seems to end. If this feels like your life right now, thankfully you’re not alone. Here are a few tips from a retail veteran to help you navigate working during the holiday season.

Work Out A Schedule That Suits You

Along with end of year sales comes extended hours at your local shopping centre. While that’s great for people trying to cram their Christmas shopping in after work,it also means you could be working all kinds of crazy hours. 

With earlier starts and later finishes, it can be super hard to fit in everything else; three decent meals, eight hours sleep, time to spend with friends and family - it can all seem practically impossible. You have limited time, so prioritise it accordingly. Write down your work shifts somewhere you’ll actually remember to look, like in your phone or in a diary.  

Don’t Feel Pressured By End-Of-Year Activities

Between all the social events, family parties AND catch ups with colleagues, you still have work to do! 

Don’t fret, you will have plenty of time to catch up with all your best mates in the New Year. Retail and hospo will drop off in January which will leave you with more than enough time to soak up some sun by the beach (or make a snowman if you’re on the other side of the world).

And not to forget the end of year sales and Christmas Shopping. I know those deals look tempting, but don’t forget you’re here to work - not shop! There’ll be a lot of sales making the rounds, but  there’s a very, very high chance that there will be another one in a few weeks. Save that Christmas casual cash!

Keep Your Balance

Your hours may increase dramatically, but so will the need for balance. 

Prioritise your health over work. Move your body. Get enough sleep and eat your fruits and veggies. Don’t take work home with you – that shop floor drama stays right where it happened! 

Some days you might have interactions with a hundred or more people! This can be really exhausting and draining. It is SO important to make sure you’re taking some time out for yourself to relax, recoup, and recover, bringing us to the next point…

Invest In Self Care

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it is really important.

Take some time out of your week to do at least one activity that brings you a little peace and joy. It’ll refresh and energise you for the rest of your working week. Do that face mask, read that book. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself too!

Good luck! You’ve got this!