Just when you think your stress level is high enough thanks to that stack of unsigned BEO’s on your desk and the 200 emails parked urgently in your inbox, in strolls even more pressure, aka December holiday obligations. Yes, welcome to that end-of-year frenzy we can’t avoid. Normally stress is a hard-wired response that can work to your advantage when you’re on deadline, this time of year it enters our systems like steroids soaked in holiday rum-punch overload.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer where stress control is involved, but there are plenty of warning signs and ways to respond that we should be mindful of. I’m not a physician, of course, but plenty of medical studies support this information.
For example, in stressful situations, your adrenal glands release hormones that make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure. This increases your chances of a heart attack or stroke. It can also affect how food moves through your body increasing sensitivity to digestive issues of all sorts.
So, instead of fighting holiday madness, find ways to make it work for you. A few suggestions:
- If playing holiday music all day is a deal breaker for some, so take a private time out and find one seasonal song that really makes you happy. Close your eyes while you listen via your personal ear buds.
- Go outside and breathe. There’s nothing quite like that fresh smell at a Christmas tree lot, and it might just provide the pickup you need at lunch. Do this instead chowing down another micro-meal at your messy desk.
- Take time to read your holiday cards as they arrive. Some people still do put time and effort into a family photo or personal message, and that can cause a surge of gratitude that can calm your busy brain.
- Find someplace, somewhere in your daily schedule to get to your holiday happiness. Light a scented candle, crunch into a Christmas cookie. Do it every day or whenever you feel a surge of stress taking over. Keeping yourself in check helps to calm others.
Finally, some experts say that one of the best ways to curb stress is to think of it differently — not as a threat or dangerous emotion, but as an emotion you can control and master.
How do you master the stress that holidays add to your work-life balance? Please share in the comment box below, and happy holidays.