eople enjoy a drink and chat in The Long Hall pub in Dublin city center (Image: Getty Images)
Image credit = People enjoy a drink and chat in The Long Hall pub in Dublin city center (Image: Getty Images) 
As temperatures continue to drop and holiday fever heats up, the hospitality industry gears up for its busiest time of the year. While it brings the promise of festive cheer and increased business, it also poses unique challenges for those working in this fast-paced sector. 
 
In the midst of the hustle and bustle, prioritising mental fitness becomes crucial for both employees and employers. In this blog post, we'll explore how the 10 Keys of Happiness can, with practice, help those in the hospitality industry to persevere and prosper through this challenging season and on into the new year. 

Giving 

During the festive season in hospitality, balancing giving to others with accepting giving from others, and from yourself to yourself, is crucial.  
 
While spreading joy through warm service, it's equally important for hospitality professionals to support each other and to prioritise their own self-care.  
 
This can be particularly challenging during this busy period, but small practices can make a big difference. 
Compassion focus explanation

Relating 

Hospitality is all about relationships, relationships with customers, relationships with colleagues, and even relationships outside of the workplace.  
 
Maintaining healthy relationships in all of these areas, learning how to resolve conflicts, establishing healthy boundaries, identifying your support team, and even spending time relating to nature, can all improve mental fitness and your ability to manage what is potentially one of the toughest seasons in hospitality. 
Compassion focus explanation

Energy 

Whilst working hard to look after others it can be all too easy to forget to look after yourself. 
 
Making time to prioritise nutrition, staying hydrated, and getting adequate sleep in a hectic hospitality environment can also be tricky at the best of times - but it really is true that you can’t pour from an empty cup!  
 
Looking after your own basic needs helps to maintain your energy levels so that you can continue to add to the joy of the holiday season for those around you. 

Appreciation 

With distracted and often extra demanding customers, extra busy colleagues, and extra busy bosses this season, it may feel like your own extra hard work is going unnoticed.  
 
If this is the case, making a note of the times you are shown appreciation and of the times you felt grateful yourself, is a small act that can help you to maintain perspective during a period where it’s all too easy to lose sight of why work in hospitality is so rewarding. 
thank you

Trying Out 

At any time of the year trying out something new is a great way to develop skills, encourage innovation, and build confidence.  
 
The Christmas period is by no means an exception and, whether it’s trying out new things in the workplace or elsewhere, embracing innovation brings a fresh festive spirit to a season that can sometimes feel a little predictable.  
 
Whilst workload may not allow time for big projects this month, small changes can help keep things interesting and may even create future traditions in both the workplace and at home. 

Direction 

Whilst it’s traditional to consider your future goals and make resolutions in the New Year, there is never a bad time to think about the direction you would like to be heading, both in and outside of work.  
 
Whether you’d like to improve your work-life balance, push for a promotion, improve your financial planning, spend more time outdoors, or almost anything else.  
 
Recognising your goals and developing a plan for how you’ll reach them offers clarity, purpose, and motivation - all of which are extremely valuable when facing the unique challenges experienced in hospitality over the festive season. 
happy new year 2024

Resilience 

During December, the resilience required by hospitality workers really shines through. With workers consistently adjusting to new and unexpected situations, managing the expectations of numerous different customers, and overcoming countless hurdles, it can be an extremely testing time. Supporting workers to manage their worries, build their confidence, and nurture their resilience over this challenging period is also a fantastic opportunity to lay the foundations for an adaptable and courageous year to come. 
busy pub

Emotions 

Understanding emotions is vital in hospitality – especially around Christmas when emotions often run high!  
 
Whilst some customers are excited and joyful at this time of year, others may be impatient or even aggressive, and accepting that the emotions of others are influenced by far more than their interactions with us, can be key in letting go of any hurt that an unhappy customer or disgruntled colleague might cause.  
 
Similarly, managing over-excited customers and colleagues can be done with grace when their heightened emotional states are taken into consideration. Working towards understanding our own emotions can also help us to manage them, increasing our own wellbeing, whilst providing additional capacity for empathy towards others. 

Acceptance 

Acceptance is a gentle acknowledgment that, in the midst of the holiday rush, both employees and employers must recognise and embrace the unique challenges presented.  
 
In this bustling period, where stress and demands reach their peak, the practice of acceptance becomes a cornerstone for mental fitness. 
woman sat down

Meaning 

The final Key of Happiness is Meaning. From our personal experiences working in hospitality, as customers, as friends and family of hospitality workers, and as Strive Mentors, it is clear that this industry attracts people who value interacting with and helping others. 
 
At this time of increased workload, heightened stress, and greater demands we urge all hospitality workers to remember why what they do is so valuable and meaningful.  
 
Those simple and small acts that we often take for granted go such a long way to making the lives of others that little bit better. Whether it’s a friendly smile, a kind word, or a particularly cosy coffee on a cold day, those small kindnesses help others to feel supported and cared for, enabling them to go back out into the world and pass that kindness, support, and care onto others. 
Hospitality provides so many moments of joy, connection, and comfort and hospitality workers foster countless memorable experiences, help us to build and maintain meaningful relationships, and contribute so very much to a positive, shared human experience. For all of that, we thank you, we wish you a very merry Christmas, and hope 2024 gets off to a happy and hopeful start! 
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