Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You
It’s the merriest time of the year — or not. All the gaiety that’s associated with the holiday season also has a less cheery underbelly; a significant percentage of people are highly stressed during this time of year. Lack of time, lack of money, and feeling pressure to give or get gifts are often the cause of this unhealthy emotion, and it’s not something that should be overlooked.
Symptoms of stress include headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, low job satisfaction and morale, aching muscles including lower back pain, loss of appetite, changes in behavior at work, and a decline in productivity and work performance. There’s nothing jolly about any of those.
What can you do to stay positive, balanced and stress-free during the holiday season? Here are a few tips from a Huffington Post article:
- Don’t binge. Eat and drink in moderation so you can remain in control of your emotions and feel more comfortable in your surroundings.
- Be realistic. Don’t put yourself in difficult positions by promising too much just because you feel an overwhelming need to please.
- Don’t give in to pressure. If someone asks you for too much, politely tell them you aren’t able to do so, being nice but firm.
- Have mercy on yourself. It may be a time for giving, but don’t forget to gift yourself with plenty of self-love, too.
- Make amends. There is no better time of year to forgive and forget; you hurt no one but yourself by keeping grudges.
- Diffuse tension. Replace friction with something productive instead of engaging in or exacerbating it, like playing with children or pets to temporarily escape the madness.
Since feelings of nostalgia and melancholy are normal around the holidays, it’s okay to be a bit blue sometimes, but take note if your sadness doesn’t fade once you resume your normal routine. Holiday blues are temporary, but clinical depression is something much more serious.
If you find yourself unable to cope during the holiday season for any reason, remember that your Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) can help — offering free and confidential counseling to support your wellbeing in the workplace and your personal life.