Blog
15
11
2018

Managing Stress In The Workplace As Christmas Approaches

Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many people.  

In addition to the financial and emotional stress associated with Christmas holidays, many people are deluged with work that must be completed before the Christmas period begins.  

This combination of work, financial, and family stress can really take the joy out of the holidays.

To help you survive the lead up to the holidays, this article will share several tips for managing stress in the workplace as Christmas approaches.  

These tips are easy to implement and will have a dramatic effect on your mood as you head into the Christmas break.

Signs of stress

Stress is one of the most common mental health problems experienced by people in the United Kingdom.  

A survey conducted by mental health charity Forth found that 85% of UK adults experience stress regularly, with more than a third experiencing stress for one full day per week.  

The survey also found that 54% of people are concerned about the effects that stress may be having on their health.

But how do you know you are suffering from stress?  

Here are a few of the warning signs:

  •   Headaches
  •   Trouble getting to sleep
  •   Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  •   Tension in the jaw
  •   An upset digestive system
  •   Unexplained fatigue
  •   Being prone to illness
  •   Being agitated and quick to anger

If stress if not addressed, it can lead to a variety of chronic illnesses including depression and anxiety.  

Long-term stress also increases the risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

How to manage stress in the workplace

Here are a few simple techniques for managing work-related stress that occurs around Christmas.

Concentrate on staying organised

Most workplaces experience a surge of activity in the weeks before Christmas.  

Instead of carrying on with your normal work practices and becoming overwhelmed, make a concerted effort to stay organised during this time.

Use todo lists and a detailed schedule to track the most important tasks that must be completed before Christmas.  

Prioritise your workload, delay any non-urgent tasks and try to delegate tasks when possible.

Remaining organised throughout this period will help you remain calm, rational and productive while at work.

Be kind to yourself

One of the reasons why people become so stressed during the Christmas period is that they begin to criticise themselves more frequently.  

If they are late for a work meeting or have a bad day, they might tell themselves “I can’t get anything right” or “I can’t cope with this”.  

If they can’t find time to pick up their child’s present, they might think “I am a bad parent”.

Unfortunately, this kind of negative self-talk can lead to an increase in your stress levels and can eventually affect your self esteem.  

Instead of talking to yourself this way, be more forgiving and kind.

Remind yourself that no one is perfect and that everyone is struggling to get through their busy work days in the lead up to Christmas.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the the practice of focusing the mind on the present moment.  

When performing this type of meditation, you will focus on bodily sensations or specific thoughts.  

This simple act delivers a wide range of physiological and mental benefits.

Researchers have discovered that mindfulness meditation is a very useful for stress reduction as it reduces the levels of stress hormones released by the body.  

Mindfulness meditation can also help you gain more control over your mind, which makes it easy to control the repetitive thoughts that cause stress.

Take a time out if you are feeling very stressed

A short 15 or 30 minute break can help you calm down and reduce the symptoms of stress.  

Spend this time going for a walk, drinking a cup of tea, meditating, or taking a nap.

When you take a time out, switch off your mobile phone and isolate yourself from potential sources of stress like the television or radio.  

You will be amazed by how much a short break can re-energise your mind and body.

Continue spending time with people you care about

Even though you may be very busy at work in the lead up to Christmas, it is still important to spend time with your loved ones each day.  

Time with family and friends allows you de-stress and discuss any frustrations you experienced at work that day.

Remember that your loved ones are a support network that will help you through stressful times.

Continue eating a healthy diet

Most people working long hours and feeling the impact of stress will turn to short term sources of relief like alcohol and fast food.  

Unfortunately, this can worsen your health and increase stress levels.

Make an effort to continue eating well even when you are feeling stressed out and time-poor.

Exercise everyday

Exercise is one of the best activities for stress busting.  

It takes your mind off stressful experiences at work and causes the body to release endorphins — powerful natural analgesics that give you a positive feeling.  

The most effective forms of exercise for stress relief are outdoor activities like jogging, rowing, and bicycling.

I hope you found Managing Stress In The Workplace As Christmas Approaches helpful.

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Stephen Coleclough

author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.

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