Don’t take stress home at Christmas

| December 18, 2019

Christmas is a very special time of year for many people across the globe, but in business, there can be increased pressure of meeting orders and deadlines before the final shut down day.  Targets to be met, reports to be lodged and signed off, and planning for the year to come. It can be very easy to get swept up in the chaos.

Whether we love our jobs or not; most of us know what it feels like to experience stress, especially around the festive season. It can and will manifest itself in many different ways depending on our ability to adapt to stress or not cope at all.

For some it will be the tightness, like a vice around our neck, back and shoulders. We become irritable, reactive, all of a sudden our relationships are impacted and our sleep is impacted, which can become a vicious cycle for more ways of feeling and responding to busyness at this time of year.

Research conducted by Relationships Australia highlighted, “around one-third of survey respondents indicated that their family relationships were highly negatively affected at Christmas due to work-life balance factors (men 31%, women 33%).” (Relationships Australia, 2016). So, how do you ensure you leave those negative feelings back at the workplace?

One size doesn’t fit all. You are you and it’s important to identify what works specifically for you. Awareness is the first piece to the puzzle.  Keep a read on how you are feeling and what you have got going on at work and at home. Create a list of de stress strategies that work for you.  Things like going for a walk, focusing on your breathing, catching up with friends, quiet time, and meditation are all helpful.

Focus on what you can control and create a plan that you can implement at work that helps you stay in the drivers seat.  Identify realistic goals of what you need to get through and let go of what you know needs to be parked.  Set a practical plan that works for you to leave work at work. Commit to that plan, mentally switching off, managing restricted access to work technology and giving yourself permission to be totally present and embrace the moment, your loved ones and the memories you will be creating.

Set a budget and stick to it.  A great deal of stress that most experience is the financial pressures that get blown out of initial scope.

Try to forward plan for your Christmas: When are you switching off, who will you be sharing it with, and what will you be doing?

Look after you and your health.  Get enough sleep, don’t consume too much alcohol, eat well and get some time in for exercise you enjoy. This may seem not as fun but it really does work, especially at this time of year.  Give some time for reflection of the year that has been. Let go of what you don’t want to take into the new year. You may need to forgive someone or let go of a bad habit. And finally, know when to stop and actually do it.

Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparations and start to relax and enjoy the holiday.  Work towards and try to stick to this goal. Most importantly, have fun.  Remember, even though you run a business, Christmas is your holiday too. Enjoy, be safe and know you got this.