With the crisp air, sweet smells of treats, and the warm sounds of cheer, it’s officially the holiday season. This time of year can create some of the most joyful memories in your office; however, for some people who experience a busy fourth quarter, the holidays can account for high levels of anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly a quarter of people feel “extreme stress” during the holidays, with the majority of individuals (69%) mostly stressed by the feeling of not having enough time. Moreover, 88% say it’s the most stressful time of year, while 77% say they have difficulty relaxing during the holidays.
From balancing end-of-year projects and deadlines to Christmas shopping and personal obligations, the season of cheer can quickly become the season of stress. To avoid this, check out these four quick tips for handling workplace stress during the holidays!
- Encourage Time-Off
While the final months of the year can be chock full of deadlines and commitments, it’s also important to encourage employees to have a good work-life balance to avoid burnout, which could spread into the new year. Well-planned rest and time away from the office has proven to rejuvenate employees, lower retention, and raise overall production. Encourage employees to take personal time to recharge and be sure to spread out the vacation days in order to not have an entire team out at the same time.
- Be Overly Vocal with Recognition
Another way to lower stress levels in the office during the final months of the year is to raise recognition efforts. A study found that 37% of workers say employee recognition is the most important thing to them. And when they are recognized for a job well done, satisfaction and production rates skyrocket. Whether through hand-written notes, public praise, or simply a “job well done,” giving recognition will ease employee anxiety and raise overall morale.
- Embrace Traditions
Everyone has specific traditions they celebrate during the holiday season. From celebrating Hannukah or Christmas to raising seasonal cheer with decorations to baking cookies and treats, traditions help make the season merry and bright. By allowing your employees to embrace the season the way you see fit, you can help your team focus more on the joy of the season and less on the higher workload. Be inclusive by allowing all traditions in the office and asking your employees how they would like to celebrate.
- Practice Self-Care
Beating stress can be difficult if anxiety levels are already high. If this is the case for you or your employees, it’s important to encourage self-care for prevention and de-stressing solutions. Amherst College defines good self-care as “taking care of yourself will help maintain your physical, emotional, and mental reserves to prevent and manage stress. This includes regular sleep, exercise, relaxation, and eating well.” They also offer these solutions for stress relief:
- Talk to someone
- Do something purely for the fun of it
- Write out your stressful thoughts
- Change the scenery
- Try a relaxation strategy from stretching to meditation
How do you handle holiday stress? What tips do you use to lower anxiety and make the most of the busy season? Let us know in the comments section below!
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