Have a Happy, Healthy, Reasonable Stress Holiday from BizPsych

Happy Holidays from BizPsych! We typically have several requests this time of year to present our “Thriving with the Holidays” seminar for client companies. Surprisingly, this year we have had only one request, from our sister division in Las Vegas. Is it possible that there may be less acute stress this year in many organizations? Is there still much stress, but no time? Perhaps our past years’ efforts have cured all holiday stress (Nice fantasy…)? The holidays are a wonderful time for so many of us. Yet, for many people, the holidays bring an increased stress level that can take away from that delight. For some it’s actually a depressing time of year for a variety of reasons.

The cornerstone of our recommendation about coping or thriving with holiday stress has to do with setting balanced and reasonable expectations of ourselves and of others. There are cultural expectations that can lead to stress and disillusionment, i.e. “we should all be blissfully happy, have beautiful and significant presents for all, and be ever cheerful.” This probably does not work for all of us 100%. We can, however make meaning, be grateful, have authentic interactions, and celebrate what we believe in. One of the ways we can accomplish this is to set meaningful and realistic expectations for the holidays.

A number of years ago I worked out an optimal holiday stress management strategy formula called “Holiday Stress Math.” It is not rocket science, so please enjoy:

Holiday Stress Math
Holiday Stress is a function of: Expectations (E) vs. What Really Happens (WRH)

If E are H (High)    and    >   WRH   =   HS (High Stress Holiday)
If E are L (Low)     and    <   WRH   =   LS but DOL (Low Stress) (Depends on Luck)
If E are L (Low)     and    =   WRH   =   LS but NGT! (Low Stress) (Negative Good Time)
If E are H (High)    and    =   WRH   =   MS, PGT but HRI(Medium Stress) (Positive Good Time) (High Risk Investment)

BPRE (Best Possible, Realistic Expectation)     =     WRH(What Really Happens)     =     GRE (Good, Realistic Holiday)

Have a meaningful and reasonable stress holiday.
Peace and Joy,
Patrick Hiester
Vice President, BizPsych

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