Though many people think of this time of year as being filled with parties and holiday cheer, the end of the year can be a very stress-filled time in many offices. Good practice management recognizes these stressors and takes steps to alleviating them. To help you survive the end-of-the-year insanity, here are five simple steps you can use to keep your cool and survive the year-end craziness in your office:
#1 DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
For many people, the holidays are a time of sadness and reminders of loved ones lost. You never know what a co-worker is experiencing at any moment, and their terse response probably has nothing to do with you at all. Remember to give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt rather than instantly assuming a defensive posture. A little kindness and understanding goes a long way this time of year.
#2 NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE DONE NOW
A lot of year-end reports or projects feel as if they must be done before the holidays, but an honest assessment might show that they can actually wait until after the new year when things have calmed down. Assess the priority of each project that is causing you stress and determine what the actual timeline can be for it. You may find the pressure you’re feeling is mostly self-inflicted.
#3 PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BREATHING
Taking a few moments during your day for deep breathing helps to give you a feeling of calm. Breathing in deeply to a slow count, holding for the same count, then releasing slowly to the same count can instantly wash stress from your mind and allow you to think more clearly. It can slow your heart rate and give you a more peaceful and relaxed feeling. You can set an alarm for certain times during the day, or just take a moment to yourself when you find your shoulders tensing or your jaw clenching. You can even put a Post-It note by your desk to remind you to slow down and breathe.
#4 TAKE A MOMENT TO YOURSELF
Sometimes, the insanity of holiday cheer and friendliness is the source of stress. Taking a moment to be alone can restore balance and sanity during hectic times. Go for a quick walk during your break; find a break room, a conference room, or an empty office; or, just sit quietly with your eyes closed and allow yourself to take a break from your environment. Place a picture or a small object nearby that helps you find that happy place where you can release your stress for a moment.#5 LOOK FOR THE POSITIVES
When you look around your office, you undoubtedly have some positive memories associated with your work and the people you work with. Take a moment to reflect on the good things that have kept you coming back to work throughout the year, make a list of the positive qualities you see in your co-workers. Identify the ways they’ve helped you with projects or been supportive during the past year. When you focus on the positive, you release endorphins and other brain chemicals that elevate your mood and help you to feel more relaxed.
Just a few simple steps can help you navigate through the holidays and into the new year with less stress. By taking a proactive steps, you can keep yourself healthy and sane, and help to spread a little more holiday cheer in your office. For more tips on successful practice management, click here!