Christmas is recognised by many as the time when the pressure builds up and negative stress takes hold(often referred to as “distress”).This is the time when we want to be performing at our very best, whether at work, home or life in general. it’s vitally important then, to look at strategies to help minimise the build up of pressure to ensure we remain positive and upbeat.
“We can become the masters of stress or we must become it’s victims” (Sharpe & Lewis “Thrive on Stress”)
Stress is not an illness in itself, but uncontrolled it can lead to poor performance at work or home due to lowered energy levels and poor concentration. research shows it can also lead to high blood pressure, irritable bowel condition and heart conditions, to name but a few.
My 20 Top Tips to help minimise the effects of seasonal stress are:
- Plan ahead
- Use a “To Do” list and prioritise the tasks
- Take a brisk minimum 15 minutes walk in the fresh air at least once a day-especially if you are a home worker
- Keep a gratitude list-and add to it daily
- Get enough sleep, especially in the party season
- Have the confidence to say “No” to extra tasks which will take up your time and are not important/urgent
- Make friends with “zappers”- people who inspire, motivate and have a can do attitude
- Sack the “sappers” in your life- people who sap your energy with their negativity
- Stop worrying about the things you can’t control
- Concentrate your energy on your circle of influence-where you do have control/influence
- Prepare for the day ahead the evening before
- Keep your daily schedule realistic
- Do something you really enjoy at least once a day
- Get up 15 minutes earlier
- Leave the house 15 minutes earlier than you normally do to get to work/appointments/meetings and miss the seasonal traffic
- Reflect at the end of the day on your positive achievements from the day, rather than reflect on the negatives.
- Use breathing techniques to help keep calm-breathe in deeply through the nose for a count of 4 and breathe out slowly for a count of 8.
- Eat and drink sensibly and in moderation-no excesses, no guilt!
- If it’s not working properly-repair or get rid of. put replacements on the Christmas wish list
- Accept the fact we all have the same amount of time in a day–it’s what we do with it that counts!
Have a great Christmas and a stress free start to 2011.