It might be the busy time of year. It might even be us. It also could stem from all the work assignments we need to complete before the year is over. But we all have this dilemma in common. Holiday stress is running rampant. Unlike the flu where we can get a shot from the doctor or nurse to ward it off, we are literally stuck with stress. Managing it correctly can make the difference between daily success and daily failure. To paraphrase, “Tis the Season to be Stressed Out: Fa la la la la la la la la!”
The truth is we simply cannot escape some degree of workplace and holiday stress. Many of us realize this well-known fact of professional life. We always work hard and we often work stressed. Here are some critical signals that we have a degree of organizational stress going on:
- We feel overworked
- We feel under-appreciated
- We are trying to meet year-end deadlines
- We are working longer hours
- We feel a lack of management support
- We wonder where teamwork went
- We run into interruptions that increase the day
- We feel pressured to do more and more
These are the cards we are often dealt. Sometimes we wonder, “What Would Carnegie Do?” For starters, stress, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. It is how it is handled that can make a huge difference. One cube or office mate will handle our exact amount of holiday stress differently from us.
Look at S.T.R.E.S.S. this way:
- Strategy: Have a plan to minimize it.
- Timing: Slow things down to make things happen.
- Reality: It is what it is.
- Energy: Sleep and eat right.
- Simplicity: Overthinking can make stress worse.
- Synergy: Your team is there if you ask for help.
We can control stress by simply having daily written goals and by taking a short break for increased productivity. We can even listen to Christmas music, hit the gym and maybe even eat right. Just knowing you have stress makes it easier to accept.
Yes, we spend a lot of time at work. When the going gets tough, we need to sit for a minute, close our eyes and focus on our breathing. It is truly relaxing and does slow things down.
Holiday stress is like holiday shopping. It is something we can manage and control! It could be worse. Think about the workload Santa has to take on!
Photo: Michal Marco, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net