So you were late leaving work because of the project that you couldn’t quite finish, which made you late getting to the store to grab something to take to the party at church, and you got in line behind several Christmas gift shoppers and someone trying to price match and coupon every item in their cart, when your boss calls to tell you that you left off a page of the report. There is so much holiday traffic that by the time you make it to the party, you are ready to blow a gasket. Sound at all familiar?
Stress during the holiday season can bring out the Grinch in all of us, especially if we’re trying to do it all. However, so much stress can make it hard to function and make you less effective (and certainly less merry). What can you do?
Increase Personal Effectiveness by Reducing Stress
1. Return to the Present Moment
If you have a million things on your holiday to do list and you feel yourself reeling with anxiety and exhaustion, then slow down for a bit and bring yourself back to the present moment. Stand up and stretch. Take a sip of water. Feel the solidity of your feet on the floor. Use all your senses to notice what is going on around you. Press the palms of your hands together to help calm your nervous system. Take the time to meditate or even just breathe. The world, and especially that to-do list, can wait a few minutes. Sometimes work-life balance necessitates a little breather from both work AND life – a moment to just collect yourself.
2. Prioritize and Delegate
Rather than seeking perfection and trying to find it all on your own, pare down your holiday to do list to include only that which is most essential or brings you the most joy. Be patient and realistic with your expectations. Accept help. Make a plan for how you can reasonably cross items off your list without making yourself crazy, and celebrate small successes. Personal effectiveness is much more likely when you do things in moderation.
3. Stick to Your Routines
When life gets hectic around the holidays, don’t deviate too much from your tried and true routines. Make sure you are still eating healthy food on a normal meal schedule, exercising, getting enough sleep, and putting in the hours you need to at work while still maintaining work-life balance. If you take care of yourself, it is easier to maintain personal effectiveness.