December 18th, 2015

Holiday Stress At Work: How To Deal With It And Get Through The Season

The holiday season brings family gatherings, gifts and good cheer – but it can also bring an extreme amount of stress.

This stress can also be amplified at workplaces, where trying to keep the work-life balance, while also trying to get everything organized for the Holidays, can sometimes seem impossible.

“It’s very bad sometimes, basically because there’s a clash between ideals and what’s actually manageable. It starts to hit hard this time of year,” explained workplace psychologist Jennifer Newman in an interview with CBC news.

“There are lots of competing needs — to be productive at work, to make the holiday joyful, and keep the kids happy — and all of those activities vie for worker time.”

She pointed out that this time can be especially difficult for people who suffer from any sort of social anxiety, because there is the extra pressure to be social this time of year with family and also at work.

Here are some suggestions on how to manage stress at work during the holiday season.

1.     Don’t Take Things Personally
If you are feeling stressed at this time of year, keep in mind others are too and they may have other stresses that you haven’t even considered. If other workers are a little on edge during the holiday season, try not to take it personally, focus on your own situation and what you can control.

2.    Take Time For Yourself
It is important to find a way to wind down and recharge your battery – both mentally and physically. From taking time to read a book to participating in physical activities such as yoga or running, it is important to take care of your health.

3.     Reach Out To Resources
If you find you are feeling really down and think you might need some professional help, it is important to reach out to resources at work. Talk to your EAP, or if you are unionized reach out to your shop steward or business agent to find out what resources are available. Not talking to someone when you feel your stress is unmanageable, can have drastic effects on your mental health.

4.     Set Limits
One of the most important parts to not getting over stressed this time of year is knowing when to say no. You don’t have to make it to every social event your invited to, you don’t have to overspend and you don’t have to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, especially at work.

Newman pointed out that it is nearly impossible to be able to equally balance work, home and seasonal activities this time of year.

“The concept of equally balancing everything is a bit of a myth,” she said. “People do get worn down around this time of year, and stress results when workers can’t meet high expectations set at home and at work. You have to adjust expectations, rather than trying to meet impossible standards.”

Trying to balance it all is nearly impossible, but knowing you have people supporting you at work this time of year is important in making it through the holiday season.

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