Here are 25 ways that retail employees can have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday.
1. Get your own holiday shopping done early. There's nothing worse than having to go shopping on your days off or lunch hour. Go shopping because you want to, not because you need to.
2. Invest in some new shoes if your current pair is worn or not comfortable. Happy feet make for a happy you.
3. Skip the food court and bring something special for lunch or dinner. Plan your meals for the entire week and have one less thing to think about before work.
4. Get your November and December errands out of the way now. The last thing you want to do on your day off in December is to hang around waiting for your car to be tuned up or be sitting in a dentist's chair.
5. Plan one or two "All About Me" days off during December. Some people might want to treat themselves to a massage or a getting a manicure and pedicure. Others might stock up on junk food and movies and stay in bed all day. The key is to chill out and give yourself some very necessary R&R.
6. Leave home early to give yourself plenty of time to get to work. Those extra minutes can ensure a stress-free start to your workday.
7. Don't skip the things that keep you centered. Whether it's church, the gym, Starbucks, or whatever else it may be, don't be too tired to do what you like to do.
8. Don't overindulge in the sweets. It's pretty easy to eat your way through the holidays. The problem is that you keep eating the stuff even when you're not hungry and the sugar crash is ugly.
9. Don't skip your breaks. They're extremely important to being productive and having a good attitude. Refrain from bothering anyone who is on break unless it's a matter that absolutely can't wait.
10. Use your iPod during your breaks to take a breather from the hustle and bustle.
11. Try to do something nice for someone else every day. Don't tell anyone else.
12. Drink plenty of water. Don't over-caffeinate yourself. Yeah, yeah, I know we retailers run on caffeine, but too much of it actually leaves you ragged and edgy.
13. Be a resource and mentor for seasonal hires.
14. Ask to take five minutes off the floor when you get that crazy and overwhelmed feeling. Even better, suggest a five minute breather to a co-worker who clearly needs it.
15. Keep smiling. The best part about giving smiles is that you get them in return.
16. Organize a food drive or a Toys for Tots collection in the store.
17. Get plenty of sleep. As you get closer to Christmas and the mall/store hours get even longer, managers should try to avoid scheduling people to open after they've closed the night before.
18. Don't lose control of your store. No matter how busy the store gets, as long as the team works together and stays focused on moving customers through you'll never lose control.
19. Don't take things personally, especially when dealing with an unhappy customer. As a friend of mine says, don't let other people's character defects bring out your own. Fix the problem and move on.
20. Keep conversations with your co-workers positive and upbeat. Don't participate in gossip and negativity. Suggest others stop when you hear it.
21. Make an effort to leave work at work. I knew a manager who always clapped her hands when she walked out the door at the end of a shift. It was her way of physically moving from work mode to personal life mode.
22. Never be so busy on the floor that you don't take a moment to know your customer a bit better or do something a little extra special.
23. Have something to give to the children who come into the store. Making a child happy is one of the best stress removers I know. Those of you who don't like kids, think of the gift as small treat that will keep them quiet and get them out of the store sooner.
24. Focus on the spirit of the holiday. If you're in a mall, walk down and watch the kids as they get ready to get on Santa's lap. (Don't watch the ones in line who are still more than an hour away from Santa. That's never pretty.)
25. Have fun. It's pretty hard to be stressed when you're bent on having fun.
26. Go a little above and beyond whenever you can.