It’s mid-December and that will mean one thing at work – the office Christmas party is looming. If you work full time these are the people you spend most of your time with, and it is the event where everyone can let their hair down. Usually there are a combination of different ages and personality types which can make it daunting for those of us who are more introverted or anxious, so I have collated some tips I have learnt along the way of things you can do to prepare yourself for the big day:
Talk to someone about your worries
Venting to someone close to you may help to ease your nerves a little. For me that person is my mum and she does an amazing job at calming me down to look at a situation in a rational way. At the end of the day it is a social gathering which is meant to be a fun way to celebrate the end of another year, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Plan your outfit
It might sound trivial, but this can be something that really stresses people out. For me I always make sure to wear something I ultimately feel comfortable in and that fits well – you don’t want a boob falling out whilst chatting to your manager. If you feel confident in your clothes your body language will show the same confidence.
Think of conversation topics
This is a big one for me. Without a glass or two of wine in me at a party I can really go into – and stay in – my shell which isn’t what I want ultimately. So I think of a couple of topics I could bring up if it feels like the small talk is drying up. Could you ask about their family? Has something funny happened at work recently? Compliment their cute dog! Ask them about their hobbies. Most people love to talk about themselves so if you get stuck ask some basic questions.
Go easy on the booze
All the free alcohol is very tempting, however being the token ‘absolutely wasted’ person at the Christmas party is a title that sticks with you. Luckily this hasn’t happened to me personally, but I have seen it happen to one of my colleagues. Alcohol is fine if you can take it and know where to draw the line, just be mindful not to drink so much you get yourself into a state that will make your anxiety worse.
Plan your journey home
Be prepared for how you will get home. If you are feeling extremely anxious about the event why not ask a loved one to pick you up? Remember – there is no pressure to stay until the end of the night, you can leave whenever you feel you feel you need to.
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