Running a business or working in a senior position can be very stressful. With Christmas on the horizon, here are my top 10 stress management tips for the Christmas period for you to use at work or in your business.
Stress is the state that you experience when you perceive that you cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on you. You feel under pressure, don't have the physical and mental reserves to cope and experience a build up of tension that can affect you physically, psychologically and emotionally.
There are many causes of stress, ranging from a series of minor irritations to major upheavals. To reduce stress and feel better you need to understand the root causes of your stress and take action to address these causes.
Top Tip 1: Planning is critical
Christmas is a challenging time for any business with the holiday period reducing working hours and it can be one of the busiest times of the year. To reduce stress during this period planning is critical. Decide what you want to achieve in your business or your area of responsibility throughout December and into January, understand what you need to do to achieve these objectives and prepare a realistic plan. Prioritise your plan and as you go through this busy period re-prioritise when things change. It is also important to take action, review progress and amend your plan accordingly.
Top Tip 2: Keep focused & actively manage the business
There are many distractions over the Christmas period both at work and at home that can increase your stress levels. To keep stress under control maintain focus, actively manage your business and build in time each day to step back from the day to day routine to review how the business is going. Ensure you are receiving the business information you need by monitoring key performance indicators, communicating regularly, gaining feedback, holding meetings with staff and key stakeholders and listening to customer feedback.
Top Tip 3: Time management is key
Everybody in the business has less time available for work over the Christmas period and if the time at work is not managed effectively stress levels will rise. You need to tightly manage your time throughout this period and use time management strategies that work for you. Stop procrastinating, get organised, delegate or outsource work, minimise distractions and focus on maximising your productivity and efficiency.
Top Tip 4: Focus on things within your control
You can get very stressed by things that are outside of your control and there will be a lot of those during the Christmas period. Be clear what is within and outside your control and stay focused on things that you can control.
Top Tip 5: Accept change
Stress can be created by how you react to change and during the Christmas period there is likely to be lots of changes happening. Accept that change happens, reschedule as a result of change and adapt accordingly to feel less stressed.
Top Tip 6: Think differently
You can feel stressed due to the way you are thinking about things at work or in your business. There are lots of extra pressures on you during the Christmas period so having a clear mind will help you feel less stressed. Consider your thinking and, where it is unhelpful, look at changing the way you think.
Top Tip 7: Adopt a positive approach
It is easy at this time of year to be negative, which can increase your stress levels as well as depressing those you deal with. Adopting a positive approach will make you feel better and less stressed. This will rub off on those around you leading to much better results for your business.
Top Tip 8: Focus & celebrate what has gone well
You may be worrying about the future of your business at this time of year as you start to think about the New Year, which can make you feel stressed. However Christmas is a good time of year to review where you are with your business. A very good stress management technique is to focus and celebrate what has gone well over the last year, value where the business is now and recognise what you have achieved. Look at what has not gone well as a learning point and plan to change things accordingly.
Top Tip 9: Get your work & life in balance
The Christmas period can put pressure on you as you will have a lot of family, social and leisure commitments in addition to work. To reduce stress take time off with your family and friends, keep your working hours under control and enjoy your Christmas holidays.
Top Tip 10: Ask for help
If you are feeling stressed during this period and you cannot calm down ask for help from a colleague, a contact or a professional. It is not easy when you are feeling stressed but just sharing how you are feeling with someone else and getting their input will help you to feel less stressed.
Hopefully by following these tips you will have a stress free Christmas period.
You may also be interested to read my eBook (available at Amazon) - 50 Stress Management Tips for business owners, directors, managers & professionals.
Thanks to Liz Makin of Makin It Happen for sharing her thoughts and opinions in this post. Liz provides personalised business coaching, mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. Liz is an accredited business mentor, coach and stress management consultant with extensive business knowledge and experience.
NB: This publication reflects the views of the author.