How the busiest business owners can beat holiday stress and get a grip on their health and sanity before the New Year
As Andy Williams croons, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” right? Or at least it should be! But juggling ugly sweater parties, visiting in-laws, and the mad dash at the mall makes the holidays hectic.
Adding all of that holiday stress on top of managing your business can seem impossible. If all you can think about is peacing out to a tropical island, you’ll want to read five proven ways that slowing down and managing the holiday rush will make for a less-stressed season.
1. Put things in perspective
Stress has been described as a “killer disease,” making your immune system more vulnerable to disease and depression. Luckily, one way to combat the familiar onset of rising blood pressure and tense muscles is to focus on what you can control. Tips from Inc.’s “57 Easy Ways to Be Happier and More Successful” include assuming people have good intentions (the guy who cut you off in line is not evil) and remembering to breathe deeply. Negative thoughts can run rampant, so crush them before they have a chance to takeover. Even try writing them down, this will slow down the motion of useless thoughts overwhelming you. These techniques can be applied on the daily and can not only lessen holiday stress but lead to greater happiness.
2. Take care of yourself
The holidays are often a time where we give ourselves a free pass to stop exercising and start overeating. But you should never overlook your health. No matter how busy you are, making time to workout is important to your mental and physical well-being. Exercise decreases your stress hormones and increases your endorphins—making you feel better and helping you sleep better. So, no excuse to skip the gym! Even a power walk after dinner will get your blood flowing and has those good stress busting benefits.
3. Give yourself a reality check
Some stressful situations we can avoid, but some holiday hassles are inevitable—longer lines at checkout, relatives we’d rather avoid, or juggling employees’ vacation schedules. While we can’t control these occasions, we can manage our emotions. Once you realize your stress levels are rising, there are steps you can take to stop anxious feelings from escalating. Business Insider shares, “A Stanford psychologist reveals 4 tricks for dealing with stress.” One big trick,cognitive change, or recognizing your reaction in the initial period that stress arises. You can distance yourself emotionally by reminding yourself to stay in the present. A client gets upset and starts yelling because her coupon is expired. “Reappraising” the situation, such as understanding her frustration can turn an emotional situation into one you can handle.
4. Take the hectic out of the holidays
Traveling during the holidays? We know that there are health consequences for long commutes, but major traffic jams during holiday travel can still get our blood boiling. Learn to travel safely by avoiding routes that get most congested and choosing less busy days to drive over the river and through the woods. Safest day to drive home after the holidays? That would be Monday, with 37% fewer accidents compared to Sunday (over Thanksgiving last year.)
5. Disconnect to recharge your own batteries
Your business is your baby and you naturally want to be plugged in all the time. The holidays is definitely a time to delegate tasks, turn off the phone, and give yourself a much needed break. Something as easy as an email break has been shown to lower stress levels. In “How Successful People Stay Calm,” Forbes advises, “If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it…gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.”
The holidays should be a time for reconnecting, spirituality and finding balance. Use this season to get motivated for January and make 2016 your best year ever.
Repost from original Front Desk article.