We all wish we had one of those jobs that gave us a week or two off to enjoy the holidays with our families but, unfortunately, many of us will be reporting to work at some point during this festive time.  In fact, if you celebrate something other than Christmas, your religious holiday may not even be recognized.

How can you handle those feelings of bitterness when your family is at home wishing you were together?  Here are some suggestions to help you stay positive when you’re feeling frustrated.

Practice Gratitude

It may sound corny and cliché but, rather than be frustrated by your work schedule, remember to be grateful that you are employed.  There are families who are living in shelters this holiday season or who don’t have enough money to give gifts to their loved ones.

Rotate Shifts

If everyone in your workplace feels frustrated by the schedule, consider finding a way to rotate shifts and get it approved by management.  For example, if you are scheduled to work Christmas Day and other coworkers have the day off, ask if everyone would be willing to work four-hour shifts that day so that everyone has a chance to be at home with their loved ones at some point during that day.

Keep the Kids Busy

If your kids are just lounging around the house all day complaining about your absence and lamenting over the lack of things to do, find some activities to keep them busy.  Do they have homework to complete over the break?  Are there any books they’d want to read?  Are there other working parents who would like to exchange child care?  Find a way to keep them occupied so that you won’t feel so guilty about having to work.

Give Back to the Community

You may feel tapped out from working through the holiday and giving to those around you but there are people who are probably facing far worse circumstances.  Suggest a holiday drive at your workplace to gather donations for a family in need.  This will help you and your coworkers remember those who are less fortunate during this time of year.

While nothing can quite substitute the relaxation of having a break from work during the holidays, do your best to make the most of a less than ideal situation.  Your attitude will make a huge difference to yourself and those around you.