Let’s face it. Managing stress at work is difficult enough.
Then along come the holidays.
And instead of feeling all the joy and love that the season is supposed to bring, you’re feeling a lot of holiday stress.
But the holiday stress monster doesn’t have to eat you alive. You can learn to tame it, prevent overwhelm, and have more fun this December–even with your commitments at work and at home.
Holiday Stress: Tips to Tame It (Today)
1. Bundle Up
Note: this strategy has nothing to do with the weather outside being frightful.
Bundle your holiday activities together, and kill two calling birds with the same stone.
- Catch up with friends AND get your shopping done by inviting them to join you on your power trip through the mall.
- Appreciate business colleagues AND friends by throwing one party for everyone. Who says work and life can’t mix? It does anyway. Plus, stop the festivities for a moment to thank each person by name, saying one thing you appreciate about them this year. You’ll be amazed at the new connections that form, all thanks to you.
- Spend quality time with your family AND regain some peace of mind for yourself when you gift yourself with 10 days of focus or more click-free zones.
YOUR TURN: Where could you bundle activities and get two goals met in one action?
2. Hire Elves
Santa doesn’t have to do it all himself, and you don’t either.
What’s a must-do that you’re dreading? Cooking for company? Buying gifts for clients? Putting up the tree?
Whatever it is, there’s an elf for that.
And you don’t have to be rich as Rudolph to afford it.
Today, smart professionals are thinking not just about cost, but about the value of their time and energy.
It can be worth a lot to pay someone to do things you really don’t enjoy doing or that aren’t in your superpower space. Plus, your investment in someone else may make their Christmas just a bit merrier.
But since you’re likely not North Pole-adjacent, where do you find these helpful folks?
A few places to start:
- Ask your friends on Facebook. The social media giant is increasingly promoting local businesses and individual recommendations.
- If it’s a business or professional need, post an update with your question on LinkedIn.
- Check out service sites like TaskRabbit, Shipt for groceries, or Upwork for online work.
- Book a cab, Lyft or Uber to drive you to and from the holiday party so you can enjoy yourself a little more.
Don’t forget to check with trusted service providers you already do business with, such as a handyman, daycare provider or dog sitter. They may be interested in additional or even different short-term work in between their regular work for you.
Finally, don’t forget to ask those closest to you for help.
They never know what to give you anyway, so why not ask for what you need? (which, BTW, is chapter 7 in my book.)
YOUR TURN: Who should you ask right now for help?
3. Take a reality check, and punt.
No matter how you try, you cannot, WILL not, create more hours in the days before December ends.
So it may be time to drop a ball or two, or punt some things to the new year.
To help you decide, here are questions I ask my coaching clients:
- What’s on your list that MUST happen because it’s tied to something that WILL happen in December?
- For those things, schedule time in your calendar right now so you know they’ll get complete.
- What’s on your list that isn’t tied to anything in December, where December is a preference, not a need?
- For those things, let them go for now. Schedule time for them in January so you know you’re covered.
- Or, decide that they don’t matter, and cross ’em off and say bye-bye.
Not sure it’ll be okay to postpone workplace actions? Do a reality check by asking your boss or client something like this:
- “I’m evaluating my list of to-dos between now and the end of the year, and X and Y seem that they could be done in January. By moving those, it’ll ensure that the rest can be completed successfully given the holidays. From your point of view, is there any reason I’m missing as to why X and Y would need to be done in December?”
When I coach my clients through holiday stress, I’m always surprised as to how many activities they think are MUST haves that can really be moved to later.
YOUR TURN: Which items on your to-do list don’t have to be done now?
So, if you’re feeling holiday stress this season, you’re not alone. Try these strategies today. And happy holidays from all of us at RedCapeRevolution.com!
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