How to Handle Holiday Stress In the Office

With all the holiday cheer comes gift shopping, party planning, home decorating, and a million other to-do’s added to your already pressing work deadlines. Finishing out the quarter and year often means late nights at the office and ever-surmounting stress. During the holidays more than ever, it’s important to put forward a conscious effort to reduce your stress and cope with the chaos of the season. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your stress in check this holiday season.

Set gift guidelines.

Every year there’s stress surrounding who you should buy a gift for and how much you should spend. Eliminate all of that right out the gates by setting gift-giving guidelines. It’s nice to set a price cap on gifts around the office—something that everyone feels comfortable with. If people feel the need to exceed it, they can give their gifts outside of work. Maybe your office decides there will be no gift exchange during company hours if it’s too messy. Making a team decision on gifts will give you one less awkward social encounter to worry about this holiday season.

Express gratitude.

Keep in mind the holidays are stressful for everyone. You’re feeling all of the seasonal pressures on the home front, as well as dealing with quickly approaching deadlines at work. You should assume everyone’s in the same boat. If you take the time to express your gratitude for your coworkers, you will shift your work environment to a more positive vibe, despite the stress. Positivity is contagious and once you start a trend, others will follow.

Watch your food and drink intake.

There’s a lot of temptations during the holidays: chocolates and cookies around the office, big meals to celebrate with family, and lots of alcohol to keep warm. Snacking around the office and sampling each gift that’s sent to your team will catch up with you. Around this time of year, people are getting less sun and find themselves a little more down than usual. If you add weight gain and drinking to the mix, your mood may be severely affected. Of course, indulging every once in a while is welcomed. Just try to be aware of what you are putting into your body.

Keep up your exercise.

The days feel shorter in the winter with the sun setting around the time most of us get off work, but it’s important to keep up your exercise. This, along with dropping temperatures can be difficult for those of us who prefer outdoor activities after work. Well folks, it’s time to join a gym or set your alarm a bit earlier because maintaining an active lifestyle will keep your mood upbeat and help you manage your stress levels. As soon as you abandon your workout routine you take away your body’s best stress outlet. Find a way to burn off that stress energy.

Be inclusive.

With an ever-diversifying workplace, it’s important to keep in mind everyone has a different ideology surrounding the holidays. For some, not knowing the right thing to do or say is a point of stress. Be open and accepting of every culture by asking how each person celebrates the holidays. The best way to make sure everyone feels included and seen during the holidays is to keep your gifts and parties in the workplace non-denominational.

Organize more than usual.

It’s time to crank up your organizational skills because you’re going to have to start fitting ten pounds of activities into a five-pound bag. End of the year means doubling up on meetings, holiday parties, and other time sucks that normally aren’t there. The only way to stay on top of all your tasks, while decreasing work hours because of obligatory gatherings is to over-organize. Schedule out your days down to the minute if need be. Buy an additional planner to map out your workday. Do whatever it takes to keep a clear head. 

If things seem to be stacking too high to get to everything, prioritize your family and friends. When it comes down to it the holidays are a time to celebrate each other and according to Dr. Robert Waldginer’s 78-year long study on happiness, healthy and strong relationships with loved ones are what bring us the most happiness. Remember that when deciding between a family moment or a deadline.

Jessica Welch is the Content Marketing Associate at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Anthropology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Her business thought articles often appear on Business 2 Community, Born 2 Invest, and YF Entrepreneurs.