Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tip #423: 10 Ways To Manage Your Holiday Stress

The holidays bring warmth and wonder to a dark season. Most families spend time together during this time of year and enjoy well-earned time off from work. However, the holidays also bring stress ­from shopping, cooking and travel plans - and getting end-of-year projects done at work (before the end of the year). 

These 10 tips will help you balance personal and work stress during the holiday season.

10 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress At Both Work And Home:

Tip #1: Plan Ahead - The holidays are incredibly hectic. However, you can reduce your stress by planning ahead. Instead of simply marking off events such as "family dinner party," plan out your preparation by scheduling time to "shop for tomorrow's family dinner party." This way, you can make a grocery list while you are on hold on the phone during your workday and shop at the grocery store on the way home from work.

Tip #2: Added Expenses - Holidays are stressful in part due to the additional expenses they require. Since getting a holiday bonus isn't guaranteed, you should try and live within your current salary/income. Before spending money you don't have, you should create holiday budget - and without one, you can land yourself in debt and cause more stress.    
Tip #3: Stay Healthy By Eating And Sleeping Well - At the end of the year, most people have used up vacation time, especially at companies that do not allow employees to carry vacation time over to the following year. This makes it the worst time to catch a cold or flu. Additionally, over-committing to holiday events and eating those holiday treats easily leads to lack of sleep and weight gain, leaving you prone to illness. Remain conscious of your health habits.

Tip #4: Remain Active - With life getting busy and days feeling shorter, it's easy to remain stagnant. However, a bit of activity can help you keep extra weight off and reduce stress, even if you only have time for a 15 minute walk during lunch.

Tip #5: Maintain Realistic Goals - We all have end-of-year goals, and it's tough to maintain work and personal goals at the same time. Keep your goals realistic to avoid stress and disappointment.

Tip #6: Confront Your Feelings - Feeling stressed out by the amount of work you need to complete by the end of the year? Worried you won't have enough cash to make it through the holidays? These are common concerns during this time of year. Confide in a sympathetic family member, friend or coworker to unload these feelings.

Tip #7: Volunteer Your Time - Everyone gets the holiday blues, but helping others is a great way to relieve stress. You may also find that your department is willing to use discretionary funding to help with your efforts - if they have any money left in the yearly budget, it's likely that they will have to use it or lose it.
Tip #8: Socialize With Your Co-Workers - Most of your coworkers are probably feeling the holiday stress, too. To combat holiday stress, do something fun with your co-workers. It could be as complex as a holiday gift exchange or as simple as a lunch out to break up the monotony of the work day.

Tip #9: Relax - Don't forget to take some time to yourself and do something relaxing. Are you interested in reading, yoga or racquetball? Make time for your hobby to get rid of that stress.

Tip #10: Maintain A Sense Of Humor - It's easy to forget to laugh during the holiday season with so much work to get done and so many things to prepare. Take a laugh break. Look up some (clean) holiday jokes on Google and post them in your office or cubicle.

Executive Summary: While the holidays are notoriously stressful for most of us, both at work and at home, it would be to your advantage to take some time for proper planning - planning that will help you avoid the holiday stress and maintain a healthy quality of life.  

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