For most people, the holiday season is an exciting time that brings family and friends together. However for others, it is quite the opposite. Two or more months of heightened stress caused by unreasonable expectations, heavy workloads and trying to balance work with holiday events and other responsibilities.
The holiday season can cause serious disruption to an individuals normal schedule. Now, for some this change in routine could be seen as a breath of fresh air, but for others this disruption can lead to increased stress. There are several things to remember during this time of year to ensure you are managing your stress levels appropriately, and not letting the holidays just pass you by.
If you are finding yourself with an increased workload, whether it be because of fewer people in the office, more pressure to meet deadlines or worrying about the return to work and having to face heavier workloads, the key is to stay organised. Organise your work in terms of importance and write a list of things to accomplish every day. Take it a day at a time and work logically, as rushing through tasks and putting pressure on yourself will just increase the likelihood of mistakes being made. Also, rather than tackling everything on your own, meet with managers to dicuss getting help with deadlines and workloads if things are getting too much.
Simplify your schedule
It is around this time of year that many of us start to believe we are some sort of superhero, booking ourselves in to be in four places at the same time, whether it be social meets, travelling, family events or still in the office completing unfinished work. Be mindful. Plan time away from the office to relax, regroup and re-energise during the day, and learn to say no to social events outside of work that you don’t consider as important so that you are able to have some time to yourself and reduce your stress levels.
It is not just about keeping your work organised, it is also about keeping your personal life organised. All of those time consuming things that come with the holidays, like Christmas shopping and booking events or trips, the sooner you plan and organise these aspects of the holiday season the less stress you will experience nearer the time, and the more time you will have to concentrate on getting work done.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Although this may seem an impossible idea at this time of the year, sleeping, exercising and eating right will be a natural mood booster and stress reliever. Healthy lifestyles are temporarily put aside during the holidays, and replaced by over-eating and drinking. So despite a busy social calendar or increased demands at work, it is important to not let the Christmas diet or holiday lifestyle completely take over. Prioritise your sleep or make room for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
If you are an employer and are noticing a decrease in your employees productivity as we approach Christmas and New year, have a look at our blog on maintaining employee motivation to see how the last few months of the year can affect people’s productivity at work.