Since the start of December, conversations in the office and socially have turned to the busy run up before the holidays.

These few weeks seem to catch us off guard every year. There’s a strange combination of enjoying the festivities and pressure to have it all figured out. If we aren’t grunting about endless shopping lists, personal admin, deadlines and Christmas songs, we’re enjoying mulled wine, mince pies and decorating trees.

The less enjoyable aspect of the season is mounting deadlines and increased workload. The final push to the finish line before a new year begins. Pile on top of that performance reviews, year-end reporting and 2020 planning. It’s a lot to cram in and we’ll be wishing for more December working days in no time.  


Whilst we might not be able to change our circumstances or alter timelines, we can change how we think about stress to help us cope better. Let’s take a look at 5 ways to think differently and combat the stressful festive season.


  1.     You don’t have to do it all

When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol which reduces our critical thinking capacity and instead of being able to problem solve, our heart rate rises, and we begin to panic. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so get great at saying no, prioritising and putting your health first.


  1.     December is like any other month

There’s an invisible mental gap between December and January – like the new year is at the end of a long road. The reality is, January is just around the corner. Take December down a peg and take the pressure off. There’s no denying that expectations are present (forgive the pun) but remembering that we aren’t about to enter the twilight zone can provide some relief.


  1.     There are more things to talk and think about

You are what you speak. Next time someone asks you about your Christmas plans, who’s coming round on the big day or how many gifts you’ve bought, know that you can politely move on to other topics. The latest season of The Crown, a hot new restaurant or the Man Booker prize winners are all viable small talk – just don’t bring up politics.


  1.     Bring the cheer

Every person in the office has an opportunity each day to influence the mood of the team. Be open, communicate, but know when not to share. Stress is contagious and must be dealt with like you would any other illness. In private and with the right treatment. Looking after ourselves is a priority and one not to be taken lightly.


  1.     Show your appreciation

You know what they say, it’s the season of goodwill. Shifting your lens in the workplace to one of appreciation can lift your spirits and remind you of the great bits. A simple cup of tea, ‘good morning’ or smile can have positive effects on our own mood as well as someone else’s. We are all in the same boat after all!


Helping companies and the people within them enjoy work more and stress less is what we do. Want more? Take a look at our Workshops for a winning mindset in 2020. We will also be sharing more tips over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to launch our 12 days of PUSHness. Join us to prepare for an amazing end to the year and super start to the next one!

Cate Murden
Cate is the Founder and CEO of PUSH. She created PUSH with the fierce belief that with the right tools, mindsets and behaviours, we could build better workplaces full of happy, healthy and high-performing individuals.

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