Posts Tagged holiday stress

Finding Joy Amidst the Holiday Stress

Angry, Frustrated Woman --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

This month is not only packed full of holidays and events, it celebrates Weary Willie, the character played by Emmett Kelly in the mid-1900s.  Weary Willie day reminds us of the importance of laughter which is very appropriate when you think of how stressful this time of year can be with the holidays, from dealing with family to making sure you have enough money and time to buy presents for people.

Emmett who performed with Ringling Brothers and Barnum, along with other circuses, was one of the few clowns who were depicted as being sad. He was classified as a hobo clown who couldn’t do much right. However, he knew how to make people laugh but also evoked sympathy from the audience. By celebrating Weary Willie and the art of clowning this month, it reminds us to find fun and enjoyment during life’s struggles and the hardships that may happen during this time of year. Whether it is just finding ways to alleviate stress or taking time to learn to juggle or ride a unicycle, remember this season will pass and it is important to find ways to smile every day. To learn more about Weary Willie and the impact he had on the world of clowns, check out this article: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emmett-Kelly

Don’t neglect your total wellbeing. Remember all 8 dimensions of your wellness are important to keep in focus during this season to help reduce stress and be able to enjoy this time of year. You need time to replenish so make sure you do! Take time to evaluate how you can make your Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Social, and Environmental wellbeing be fulfilled so you can alleviate stress around these areas.

Here are some great tips while preparing yourself for this Holiday Season:

  1. Maintain your health. Watch what you eat and drink, get enough sleep, and don’t neglect doing your exercise program. By focusing your energy towards your wellness goals, you will feel better and be able to accomplish more.
  2. Be easy on yourself. It is ok to feel sad or grieve the loss of someone who isn’t here to enjoy the holidays with you. Acknowledge those feelings and express these normal feelings. It is natural during the holidays to feel blue sometimes. However, remember if your workplace offers an EAP they are there to help if you do want to talk to a professional about what you are feeling and if you want help processing those emotions.
  3. Carefully choose the events to attend that will bring the most joy to you. Focus on what the true meaning of the holidays are for you so your celebrations are the most meaningful. Celebrate each event you do this season so you can look back on this time as a good time verses something you have to do. This includes baking, decorating, writing a meaningful letter to someone, or choosing the perfect gift.
  4. Shop within your budget and plan in advance when, how, and where you will shop. Don’t let money worries add any stress. Giving from the heart is more important that giving an expensive gift.
  5. Be more realistic about holiday expectations – both yours and the ones others may have of you. Whether it is managing your time wisely and figuring out what you can cut out to reduce the stress or being reasonable about what you can accomplish by limiting your baking, decorating, and gift-giving. Make sure to give yourself and others a break if things don’t go according to plan.
  6. Find ways to experience happiness this season at work and at home. No matter what happens around you or who is a “Grinch”, don’t get ruffled by others’ behaviors and keep that smile on your face. Consider including your co-workers in your plans if they don’t have any or helping out in a soup kitchen, sharing something funny with someone every day, or buying yourself a gift no one will think of getting you to help make this season the best yet.
  7. Recognize that family differences won’t disappear just because it is the holidays. Work on building a relationship by finding common ground or starting a new tradition. Share fun stories and start to heal those past hurts through forgiveness and love.
  8. Take time to sit, enjoy your surroundings, and relax. Take in the weather, your home, and focus on finding a moment each day to enjoy the activities happening around you whether it is going snowboarding or sitting by the fireplace reading a good book.

We hope this list will help you have a successful, joyous, and wonderful holiday season that is stress-free!

 

To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

Happy Holidays from the MINES Team

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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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Oh, the Food!

It is the Friday before Thanksgiving, less than 1 week away from the food, the parades, the football and most importantly, the visitng with friends and family.

I can smell the aroma of turkey, ham and pie as well as hear all the activities running through the house. And don’t forget the dogs following every step you make in the kitchen waiting for that scrap of food that just happens to fall on the floor.

It is the end of Fall and in many parts of the country orange and yellow leaves are still dropping from the trees. After dinner activities will include walks to exercise off some of that great food. In other parts of the country, such as Denver where MINES & Associates is based, we have already had 2 heavy snows; 10 and 20 inches each. Which brings me to some traditions. While many people head off to start their Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday”, many of us have another tradition…..head up the mountain for the first skiing and boarding of the season. Most of the Rocky Mountain ski resorts are open for this long weekend. Yes, I can smell the fresh scent of snow, the clean brisk air of the mountains and see the beautiful blue ski and white snow covered mountains.

No matter what the activity or tradition you are going to follow this next weekend, please think of the people that are less fortunate than us. Provide some food this weekend to your local food bank or donate some money to help provide food for all.

And last, this is the begining of a fun and exciting, yet hectic time of the year. We all try to do too much and easily start running around in frantic style. Take a few minutes to check out the MINES & Associates web site http://www.minesandassociates.com for ideas on how to cope with these hectic holidays. We have lots of ideas that will help make the holidays go more smoothly for you and your family. After all, the objective is to enjoy the holidays, not be stressed out over them.

Happy Holidays!

Allan Benson
apbenson@minesandassciates.com

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