It’s official, Christmas is up there with divorce, moving house, and changing jobs as one of our most stressful life events.
If you’re having trouble dragging yourself out of bed, struggling to stay on-task at work, or feeling crankier than usual when someone beats you to the last packet of Christmas shortbread — take heart, you’re not alone.
Let’s face it, by the time December rolls around most of us are feeling overtired, over-committed, and well, over it!
Why? Because looming end of year deadlines often force us to crowbar a week’s worth of activities into a day — every single day. Add to this a few too many festive drinks every other night and it’s easy to see why hiding under the covers seems like a good option.
Any change in the demands on us, particularly an increase in those demands, is going to ramp up stress. And we aren’t just talking about work-related demands.
Christmas comes with all manner of stressors. We often stress over the prospect of family interactions – some of whom you’d rather not see, financial woes, the horror of shopping, and trying to meet unrealistic expectations about how much fun we should be having.
This year, try to keep it relatively stress-free – and stay happy, healthy and productive with these helpful tips.
- Be realistic. Make a list of tasks or jobs that need to be completed before you take a break, and decide which can wait until the New Year. You can achieve much more when you set targets that are realistic and take into account existing workloads.
- Be Mindful. Mindfulness not only reduces stress but also gently builds an inner strength so that future stressors have less impact on your happiness and physical well-being.
- Make time for exercise. Exercise produces endorphins – chemicals in the brain that improve your sleep quality and lift your mood, which in turn reduces stress. So start by taking the stairs!
- Set boundaries. Once you’ve clocked off for Christmas – enjoy it! Don’t spend your holidays compulsively checking your emails or worrying about what you’ve left behind to do. It is time to put your self-care on the agenda and prioritise rest and relaxation.
Get in touch if you want to learn more about managing stress in your workplace.