Talking Points
April 2024

5 Ways to Survive Holiday Stress in the Workplace

Holiday stress is real. Shopping, money, family get-togethers, and the burden of squeezing everything in directly contributes to stress, which can affect you in the workplace. To help you manage the overload while wrestling with year-end work obligations, here are a few things you can keep in mind—beyond the obvious tactics like planning ahead and taking time off—as you divide your time between work and personal lives during the holidays.

1. Focus on your own feelings
We often tend to compare our situation to those of others. However, it’s unproductive to try and compare, or figure another other person’s emotions. It’s far more useful to focus on your work, your feelings, and how you can relieve your stress.

2. Just breathe
You might be surprised how much this will help. Take three deep belly breaths, and exhale slowly. Place a post-it on your computer screen to remind you, or set an alarm. It’s the quickest positive response to stress you can employ. It can calm your nerves and even energize you.

3. A little prioritizing goes a long way
Overextending ourselves is common during the holidays. We try to finish last minute reports, answer every email, and fit in all the meeting requests. So ask yourself if the task can wait. If it can, you’ll lower your stress level significantly.

4. Be kind and compassionate
You’re not the only one under stress. So try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Responding to workplace conflict with a good attitude will help you as much as it does your coworkers. Regardless of the circumstances, the holidays are a good time to set aside your differences at work.

5. Find your center
The holidays are filled with running around and stress-related tension. Look for a way to bring yourself back to neutral. It could be meditation, exercise, a brief walk, or some other way to wind down. Creating moments of stillness within, while holiday chaos surrounds you, can make a tremendous difference in your well-being.

Based on 5 Keys to Transform Workplace Holiday Stress from the Inside Out by Judy Martin.

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