Supporting your wellbeing during the busy season

Ishwariya Rajamohan

Ishwariya Rajamohan

Other 12th November 2021
Ishwariya Rajamohan

Supporting your wellbeing during the busy season

We often commence our preparation 4-6 months in advance of the busy season, but how many of us put any thought into preparing ourselves?

When we stretch our capabilities all year round, we can lose sight of what we put our bodies and minds through, especially during those 6-8 weeks. 

But what can you do to support your wellbeing this year? 

I invite you to take this approach: prepare yourself for the Christmas season like an athlete prepares for the Olympics. 

Think about what you will need in terms of your physical wellbeing (the basics like rest, nutrition, and exercise).

Consider what support systems you should have in place for your mental wellbeing (connection, encouragement, or moral support when you most need it). 

The thing to remember is to be pragmatic and focus on what is most important. When you go through that whole stretch of time with inadequate rest, sleep, and nutrition between shifts, your priority should be attending to those things that help you function well. 

Also choose carefully what you give your energy to. Something like social media might keep you feeling connected with the outside world, but does it deserve a lot of your energy and attention then? 

Remember to also prepare those closest to you - your friends and loved ones. Without knowing what it is like to work in hospitality, they will not be able to easily relate to your experience, unless you communicate clearly to them what you are going through. 

So engage them in supporting you through those demanding few weeks.

Working behind-the-scenes in a service profession means that you might miss out on most of the season’s festivities with your loved ones. This is one of the many sacrifices you are forced to make while working in this industry. And as much as you might love your work, it can be difficult to come to terms with. During those times, I invite you to reconnect with your purpose.

Acknowledge your contribution to making this season a special one for so many people. 

Also, do not forget to appreciate your achievements together with your team - even if this is a time for keeping your head down, staying focussed on your work and getting things done. 

Every year, Love Letters to Chefs runs a 6-week campaign on social media called Chefs At Christmas with self-care suggestions to help you thrive during the busy season (you can find the social links below to access this). 

In a period when you generally have so little time and energy for yourself, the emphasis is very much on doing whatever little you can. 

Here is a list of six simple steps that you can take to support your wellbeing at this time of the year: 

● EAT: Eat at least a small plate of staff food. Appreciate your colleagues who prepare it. 
● RECHARGE: Take a break when it is offered. Step outside if it is possible and connect with the outside world. 
 ● REFRESH: Stay connected with those closest to you, in whatever small way you can. 
● FOCUS: We all go through peaks and troughs, and it can be easy to lose motivation or feel your energy flagging at certain points. Sometimes a small shift in perspective can help you get back to where you were. Also, go back to Step 2 (RECHARGE), because stepping away momentarily from your work can work wonders. 
● SUPPORT: Make sure you and the members of your team support one another, without judgement or criticism. Again, this relates to being mindful about what you give your energy to during this period. 
● ENJOY: Finally, remember to celebrate when the season is over and enjoy the time off that you have earned!
I wish you all a successful season!

Ishwariya Rajamohan founded Love Letters to Chefs (, an educational platform delivering workshops and 1-1 coaching helping Hospitality professionals enjoy a better work life balance and sustainable careers in the industry. 

You can follow the Chefs At Christmas campaign on social media: Facebook ( and Instagram (

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