I’ve recently diagnosed myself with “PHSD” –  Post-Holiday Stress Disorder. My holiday party didn’t go exactly as planned, and a few close relationships caused some disappointment.

I know things happen, and everybody has holiday challenges, but I kind of hate to start the year off in a funk. So, I’m doing some things I hope will boost my spirits and send me on my way to a joyful and productive 2018. Perhaps you could benefit from these as well.

  1. Read or re-read a book by a favorite author that is inspirational, entertaining, informative or healing to remind yourself that while life’s not perfect and people may disappoint, there is always something to be grateful for. For me, 2017 will be hard to beat, as it was a year full of new and exciting life changes. I started at Celanese as a contractor last January and became a permanent employee in July. I could hardly believe my good fortune. I enjoyed my job and liked all my coworkers. The culture was unbelievably supportive and inclusive, and the company actually supported causes I believe in. AND I got paid to volunteer! I honestly looked forward to coming back after the holidays with new creativity and a fresh perspective.
  2. Participate in The Biggest Loser challenge here at the office or start a fitness program of your own. I’m doing this because, along with my incredibly positive 2017, came 30 lbs. of what I like to call “happiness weight.” To work for a company that not only encourages quality of life but supports a healthy lifestyle with complementary gym access, healthy snacks in break rooms, yoga (Budapest), charity walks and contests like “The Biggest Loser” is not only unique – it’s virtually unheard of.
  3. Learn a new skill – either personally or professionally. Learn a language or attend a conference that will expand your knowledge base. Celanese is incredibly supportive of continued learning and enhancing our skills to add value to the company and our lives. Take advantage of learning opportunities this year and use your extended knowledge to move your career forward.

In addition, I’m giving myself (and you) permission to stop doing some things:

  1. Spending large amounts of time, energy and money on things that don’t matter and/or people who don’t care or appreciate it. Consider the ROI.
  2. Trying to keep a perfect house or cook gourmet meals in order to be a worthwhile partner or parent. Focus on the things that really matter – family, friends, career and life-enriching experiences.
  3. Feeling guilty about taking a personal time-out – to work out, do yoga, get a massage, travel or have dinner with a friend. Perhaps if we take better care of ourselves, the people in our lives will take note and do the same.

And finally, here are some things we can all do this year to enrich our lives and the lives of those we care most about:

  • Work smart
  • Complain less
  • Help others
  • Share credit
  • Be on time
  • Look people in the eye
  • Smile at strangers
  • Be kind
  • Think before speaking
  • Make others feel important
  • Laugh. . . a lot
  • Show gratitude

I look forward to what 2018 will bring and hope these small steps will benefit those of us with “PHSD.” There is nothing earth-shattering in this plan, but it’s a start. After all, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu.