Holiday Time: Tips to Manage Work Stress

Reviewed May 30, 2017

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Summary

  • Plan for days when the office will be short-staffed.
  • Prioritize what cannot wait until after the holidays.
  • Simplify your holiday plans.
  • Take care of yourself.

The holidays may be a time of joy, but they aren't always a time of relaxation. Balancing your family's expectations with work commitments and social obligations can make this the most stressful time of the year. At work, you may discover that the work is still coming in, but most of your colleagues aren't. You may even be planning to take some time off yourself. Before the season gets too busy, try these strategies for reducing holiday stress in the workplace.

Plan

Create a calendar for the holiday period, noting who will be at work on which days. If you know in advance that your workplace will be short-staffed at certain times, you can make plans. This might include reassigning essential tasks, prioritizing duties or hiring temporary help. If most of the workplace is on vacation, just having an extra person there to answer the telephone could reduce your stress level dramatically.

Prioritize

What absolutely has to be done today, and what can wait until after the holidays? Ask yourself this question when you begin to feel stress at work. If a task can be held for completion in a week or two, set it aside.

Keep it simple

One reason for holiday stress is the desire to make everything "perfect." If you're working during this season, you may have less time for shopping, cooking, social events, or travel. Lower your stress level by simplifying your holiday plans. This might include choosing which holiday gatherings to attend instead of trying to attend them all, or buying gifts throughout the year instead of waiting until the last minute (also easier on the budget).

Organize your workspace

If you're going on vacation, organize your workspace before leaving. Provide your supervisor or colleague(s) with an "at a glance summary" and file paths for projects you are working on in the event they need to access information during your time away. If something needs to be done in your absence, leave written instructions. Your voicemail message should include the date of your return and the name and telephone number of someone in the office who could take an urgent message.

Practice self-care

You can reduce symptoms of stress by taking care of yourself during the holiday season. Eat balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol, and exercise regularly. Exercise is particularly important for energy and good health during the holiday season. Get a head start on your New Year's resolution: Talk to your doctor now about creating the right exercise program for you.

Breathe

If work becomes too stressful, stop and take a number of slow, deep breaths. Inhale, count to three slowly and gradually exhale. After four or five breaths, you probably will feel much more relaxed. Deep breathing can be done anywhere and anytime and is a great way to keep your stress down throughout the day.

Get in the spirit of the season

When your co-workers are on vacation, the phone's ringing off the hook, work is piling up, and you still haven't finished your holiday shopping, the season may not seem quite so jolly. Nevertheless, do something to remember the real spirit of the holidays. Consider donating gifts to a needy family, collecting canned food for a local shelter, or sponsoring "Santa's visit" to a local children's hospital. Volunteering not only makes you feel good but it makes others feel appreciated as well. You might find this is the best "stress reliever" of all.

By Lauren Greenwood

Summary

  • Plan for days when the office will be short-staffed.
  • Prioritize what cannot wait until after the holidays.
  • Simplify your holiday plans.
  • Take care of yourself.

The holidays may be a time of joy, but they aren't always a time of relaxation. Balancing your family's expectations with work commitments and social obligations can make this the most stressful time of the year. At work, you may discover that the work is still coming in, but most of your colleagues aren't. You may even be planning to take some time off yourself. Before the season gets too busy, try these strategies for reducing holiday stress in the workplace.

Plan

Create a calendar for the holiday period, noting who will be at work on which days. If you know in advance that your workplace will be short-staffed at certain times, you can make plans. This might include reassigning essential tasks, prioritizing duties or hiring temporary help. If most of the workplace is on vacation, just having an extra person there to answer the telephone could reduce your stress level dramatically.

Prioritize

What absolutely has to be done today, and what can wait until after the holidays? Ask yourself this question when you begin to feel stress at work. If a task can be held for completion in a week or two, set it aside.

Keep it simple

One reason for holiday stress is the desire to make everything "perfect." If you're working during this season, you may have less time for shopping, cooking, social events, or travel. Lower your stress level by simplifying your holiday plans. This might include choosing which holiday gatherings to attend instead of trying to attend them all, or buying gifts throughout the year instead of waiting until the last minute (also easier on the budget).

Organize your workspace

If you're going on vacation, organize your workspace before leaving. Provide your supervisor or colleague(s) with an "at a glance summary" and file paths for projects you are working on in the event they need to access information during your time away. If something needs to be done in your absence, leave written instructions. Your voicemail message should include the date of your return and the name and telephone number of someone in the office who could take an urgent message.

Practice self-care

You can reduce symptoms of stress by taking care of yourself during the holiday season. Eat balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol, and exercise regularly. Exercise is particularly important for energy and good health during the holiday season. Get a head start on your New Year's resolution: Talk to your doctor now about creating the right exercise program for you.

Breathe

If work becomes too stressful, stop and take a number of slow, deep breaths. Inhale, count to three slowly and gradually exhale. After four or five breaths, you probably will feel much more relaxed. Deep breathing can be done anywhere and anytime and is a great way to keep your stress down throughout the day.

Get in the spirit of the season

When your co-workers are on vacation, the phone's ringing off the hook, work is piling up, and you still haven't finished your holiday shopping, the season may not seem quite so jolly. Nevertheless, do something to remember the real spirit of the holidays. Consider donating gifts to a needy family, collecting canned food for a local shelter, or sponsoring "Santa's visit" to a local children's hospital. Volunteering not only makes you feel good but it makes others feel appreciated as well. You might find this is the best "stress reliever" of all.

By Lauren Greenwood

Summary

  • Plan for days when the office will be short-staffed.
  • Prioritize what cannot wait until after the holidays.
  • Simplify your holiday plans.
  • Take care of yourself.

The holidays may be a time of joy, but they aren't always a time of relaxation. Balancing your family's expectations with work commitments and social obligations can make this the most stressful time of the year. At work, you may discover that the work is still coming in, but most of your colleagues aren't. You may even be planning to take some time off yourself. Before the season gets too busy, try these strategies for reducing holiday stress in the workplace.

Plan

Create a calendar for the holiday period, noting who will be at work on which days. If you know in advance that your workplace will be short-staffed at certain times, you can make plans. This might include reassigning essential tasks, prioritizing duties or hiring temporary help. If most of the workplace is on vacation, just having an extra person there to answer the telephone could reduce your stress level dramatically.

Prioritize

What absolutely has to be done today, and what can wait until after the holidays? Ask yourself this question when you begin to feel stress at work. If a task can be held for completion in a week or two, set it aside.

Keep it simple

One reason for holiday stress is the desire to make everything "perfect." If you're working during this season, you may have less time for shopping, cooking, social events, or travel. Lower your stress level by simplifying your holiday plans. This might include choosing which holiday gatherings to attend instead of trying to attend them all, or buying gifts throughout the year instead of waiting until the last minute (also easier on the budget).

Organize your workspace

If you're going on vacation, organize your workspace before leaving. Provide your supervisor or colleague(s) with an "at a glance summary" and file paths for projects you are working on in the event they need to access information during your time away. If something needs to be done in your absence, leave written instructions. Your voicemail message should include the date of your return and the name and telephone number of someone in the office who could take an urgent message.

Practice self-care

You can reduce symptoms of stress by taking care of yourself during the holiday season. Eat balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol, and exercise regularly. Exercise is particularly important for energy and good health during the holiday season. Get a head start on your New Year's resolution: Talk to your doctor now about creating the right exercise program for you.

Breathe

If work becomes too stressful, stop and take a number of slow, deep breaths. Inhale, count to three slowly and gradually exhale. After four or five breaths, you probably will feel much more relaxed. Deep breathing can be done anywhere and anytime and is a great way to keep your stress down throughout the day.

Get in the spirit of the season

When your co-workers are on vacation, the phone's ringing off the hook, work is piling up, and you still haven't finished your holiday shopping, the season may not seem quite so jolly. Nevertheless, do something to remember the real spirit of the holidays. Consider donating gifts to a needy family, collecting canned food for a local shelter, or sponsoring "Santa's visit" to a local children's hospital. Volunteering not only makes you feel good but it makes others feel appreciated as well. You might find this is the best "stress reliever" of all.

By Lauren Greenwood

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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