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How To Effectively Deal With Work Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are an incredible time, but they can also be very stressful, especially in the workplace. Stress tends to skyrocket during late November and throughout December, which can greatly affect a person’s work and personal life. The holiday season is no doubt one of the busiest times of the year, but it’s not “being busy” that stresses people out, it's the way that they have to balance their work life and personal life during this time, even in the midst of a pandemic. Instead of being stressed out about how to best balance your time, there are plenty of things that you can do in order to help cope with this stress.

Make To-Do Lists

Making to-do lists may sound like a tedious task; however, they are extremely beneficial! While it may be stressful to have to look at all of the things that you want to accomplish or have to attend to during the holiday season, it can help you to keep track of everything. When you make lists, you’re more likely to adhere to completing those activities and it gives you a visual reminder which can be very handy. Try making two separate lists for the things that you need and want to accomplish at work and at home.

One of the best ways to utilize list-making is to make your list of things that you want to accomplish before the busy season starts (usually around the middle of December) — like right now! While you add to your list, you’ll be able to space things out more which can help alleviate stress. Perhaps you’ve got your company Zoom party the night before your in-laws come in? Well now that you’ve laid all of that out, you now know to have the house prepped and ready so that you can enjoy your virtual party without worrying about having to clean. By creating lists you know exactly what you need to get done and when it needs to get done. This can drastically decrease your stress levels at work since you’re no longer thinking about what you need to get done after.

Give Yourself A Budget

Money can be one of the heaviest stressors for everyone during this time of the year. This is why starting to shop for gifts sooner can help relieve that stress. In fact, many sites are consistently offering sales even after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So you don’t have to spend all your money within those two days.

Aside from starting the holiday shopping early, give yourself a budget and try to stick to that as much as possible. Lay out all your normal expenses such as rent, utilities, wifi, and then the normal things that you need like groceries, gas, and any other living expenses. Then take a look at all the money that you have left, and that will give you an idea of how much you have to spend. Creating a budget for gift giving can also be helpful.

Create a visual budget to allow you to physically see how you are spending money, which can help you prepare and not be shocked or in any type of financial debt once the holidays are over. Saving money right now can even help you feel less stressed. You can never be too prepared! By utilizing this tool, you can head into work feeling confident that you won’t have to put in any overtime hours unless of course, you want to!

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Almost everyone is stressed at work during the holidays, which is why you may find people, or even yourself, not acting like themselves. The best thing that you can do is to try and not take anything too seriously. If someone has a short fuse, just know that they’re probably under a lot of pressure, just like you. Having this understanding can help you become less stressed since you won’t be worrying about what other people are thinking. You’ll spend more time on what is actually important and not dwell on what your coworker said.

Be Mindful of Your Needs and The Needs of Others

The term "self-care" doesn’t always mean sitting in a bathtub with candles lit all around you. Self-care takes on many forms and isn’t always glamorous looking. The feeling of burnout is extremely common during the holidays, due to the hustle and bustle that stems from this time. Even though the holidays look different this year make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. This may mean leaving the virtual hangout early so that you can hit the gym or even skipping out on some things. Understand that it is perfectly okay to say no. You don’t need to feel pressured to attend your cousin’s sister-in-law’s birthday or give your entire team a large gift. Prioritize what you need to do, whatever that may be. It may feel selfish, but keeping yourself healthy is important, so do what you need to in order to make sure you are keeping healthy both physically and mentally.

Just like you want to be mindful of yourself, try and be mindful of others too. Writing small thank you notes or even chatting your coworker a compliment about their work ethic and how much you appreciate them can go farther than you think.

Do Things That You Actually Want To Do

This can go hand-in-hand with self-care, but take advantage and tend to the things that you actually want to do! If you really want to go to your company’s holiday corporate event but you have something else that you should go to, but you don’t really want to go to it, do what you want to do! Giving yourself that break from reality and having that time to relax and enjoy yourself will do far more for you than going to something that you’re not excited about. Most people will understand that the holidays are a busy time, and will understand if you have prior engagements or can’t make it. You don’t even need to give someone a reason, simply stating that can’t make it is reason enough! Give yourself some leeway and time for yourself. You’ll find you're less stressed and in a better mood!

At the end of the day, it is so important to prioritize yourself and take the steps to cope with holiday stress in a healthy manner. A great way to empower yourself and your team is by connecting with Satori and Sage. We currently are offering in-person services and telehealth services, so if you’re comfortable coming into our office or wanting to stay at home, we can help! Learn more about our various forms of therapy, and connect with us today to schedule an appointment.

My office is following closely to the CDC’s recommendations that pertain to the coronavirus, but I will be posting updates about the steps I am taking to ensure that all clients are safe during sessions. I am also utilizing various cleaning practices in order to maintain requirements set out by the state. If you’re feeling sick, I would ask that you call my office before coming in so that we may schedule a virtual therapy session. I look forward to working with you!