Posted on December 9, 2013 by Debra Burdick
Once Thanksgiving has come and gone the growing to-do list, activities, and the accompanying stress can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether the increasing demands are due to religious holidays or simply the end of the year tasks at work or in your business you may experience fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and poor performance.
Here are 5 ways to avoid and prevent feeling stressed out this year.
1) Set your intention. Think about what you want to accomplish and how you want to feel during this time of year. If you are celebrating Christmas, what does this time of year mean to you? What religious traditions do you love the most? Do you want to spend time with family? Are you planning to volunteer your time or donate gifts or money? What role does gift giving play in your life and in your family? Are you alone and need to plan a way to connect with others? If you are finishing up year-end tasks at work think about what this involves and set realistic goals to get them done.
Take some quiet time to sit down and really think about what you want this time of year to look like for you and your family or business. Be mindful to be true to your values and beliefs about what’s important and what’s not. Plan to be present this year for yourself, your family, and your work.
2) Set priorities. Do you find yourself with too much on your plate? That’s a sign that now is the time to lighten the load somehow. Make a list of tasks that need to be done. Then put them in priority order starting with the most important one first. Think about how much you can reasonably accomplish. Move the less important tasks to another list that can be used later to create your next priority list. Keep in mind that things have a way of taking longer than expected so factor in extra time into your plan and schedule for it.
3) Do a little less this year. If you tend to overdo, overschedule, and/or over commit then now is the time to change this pattern. You will be amazed at how much more you will enjoy the holidays and how much more energy you will have to get things done at home or at work when you pare down the load. Things that feel overwhelming and exhausting may suddenly seem more fun and satisfying.
4) Ask for help. There is no law that says you are the only one who can do everything on your list. Ask family members to take responsibility for certain tasks and make sure they know when you need them done by. At work, delegate tasks when appropriate and let your boss know if you have more to do than you can do in a timely manner. See 10 Signs Your Boss is Stressing You Out for more information about improving interactions with your boss.
5) Schedule in some time for yourself. Everyone needs some down time to rest and recuperate. So often we do everything for everyone else and forget to give ourselves the same care. It is not only a good idea but essential for a stress-free holiday season to schedule time for yourself. This might be to: take a break, exercise, take a bath, listen to music, read a good book, play the piano, or meditate. Take some time to reflect on the year, the holidays, and your feelings about your life at this moment.
Here are some great resources for transforming stress and really increasing your enjoyment and life satisfaction now and during the whole year. They make great gifts, too! Mindfulness Toolkit CD/mp3; Transforming Stress Teletraining; Mindfulness – the Basics and Beyond Teletraining
I would love to hear your personal experiences with this topic.