The holidays can be both stressful and joyful, bundled into one emotionally charged season.
Rodrigo Araujo, Ph.D., senior data scientist at Plasticity Labs, analyzed workplace stress and seasonality. He identified fall (October to December, including the winter holidays) as the unhappiest time of the year for people. One of the biggest impacts on our stress (and happiness) is an increasingly busy and everfluctuating schedule. This causes an out-of-control feeling that can make our brains uncomfortable.
The best way to combat this seasonal stress is to practice an attitude of gratitude. Here are some ways to keep your schedule from stressing you out.
1 Make it a team effort.
Are you stressing to get everything accomplished for the holidays? Check off your to-do list with friends.
2 Give experiences, not stuff.
Instead of shopping for stuff, give your love one the gift of your time by creating experiences you can enjoy together.
3 Be authentic
Host holiday events that resonate. Don’t kill yourself to create events that will impress others, rather create opportunities to connect with others.
4 Say no
We often feel obliged to say yes to every holiday invite. It’s tough to turn down invites from friends and colleagues, however, stress stems from being overextended. Saying “no” will help you prioritize your time and your mind.
5 Save a vacation day
Take a day off before the chaos of holidays begin just for you—you might be surprised how this one day can enhance your mental health as you celebrate with your friends and family.
Schedule a time for your family and friends to help those who are less fortunate. You might volunteer at a soup kitchen, or perhaps give a family in a need a holiday they’ll never forget. Get in the spirit without losing your mind.