The holidays aren't always the most wonderful time of year for some people.
So often workplace holiday stress seems unavoidable--you're out of vacation time, you don't have control over deadlines, employees are taking vacations and you can't find coverage, your business is busier during the holidays and so is your personal life, the people around you are on edge, kids are home and going nuts for Santa, etc. For many that's "just the way it is," but there are things you can do to help reduce this stress, especially since it's reported that 70% of employees feel more stressed around the holidays.
Most of these tips will work great all year round, but because of the chaotic nature of the holiday season they often get put on the back burner. Regardless of how and where you work, and what your position is, it's important that both employers and employees make it a priority to reduce stress in order to be successful and remain sane.
Now don't go crazy and spend every day getting massages, taking extended naps, avoiding responsibilities, going out with friends, etc. But DO schedule time each day to do something that will improve your health and wellness.
Workout. Meditate. Meal-prep healthy food. Drink lots of water. Turn off your phone. Take a needed nap. Smile and laugh. Get outside. Have lunch away from your desk.
It's important for us to take care of ourselves so we can be more productive at work and available to our families.
2. Plan Ahead
At work, you should be planning ahead for budgets, closing out projects, employee vacations covered, or if you're the employee, making sure others are set up for success while you are gone.
In addition, be mindful when setting deadlines. Keep the holidays in mind. Remember that personal lives are busier during the holidays and peoples' focus is usually not at work. So if you can push back or pull forward a deadline, do it.
At home, create that list ahead of time and add to it as needed. Review the list with your family members, prioritize tasks and see to whom you can delegate tasks.
3. Set Your Attitude
The holidays are are a time to be generous (well, every time of year you should be generous!), but even more so this time of year. If someone needs a break, allow them to walk away for a bit, if it's in your power. Giving employees a bit more freedom can relieve stress and the edge they have.
Also, don't take anything too personally, as some people may have shorter fuses than normal. Take a deep breath and again, give them a break.
Make sure you are as positive and upbeat as you possibly can be. Compliment others often and notice when employees are going the extra mile - you'll lift their spirits and (shocker) they'll be more generous back (maybe at a later time). Compliments and encouragement can go a long way.