December 06, 2022

How to Avoid Holiday Stress at Work

Holiday Stress is Real

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Juggling extra holiday to-dos, trying to get your shopping done, and hitting your end-of-year goals all while managing clients and employees, it’s enough to make anyone lose their cool. A 2018 study conducted by PR Newswire found that 88% of Americans experience increased stress levels during the Holiday season. Holiday stress can get the best of you and your team. No matter how many twinkly lights you string up, it can’t reduce the pressure on your employees – but you can! The following are some ideas to help you (and the people you work with) hit their goals and avoid slipping into paralyzing stress.

Talk About It

Managers should take the time to talk about added stress with their employees. It can be as simple as an email checking in and reminding employees of the need to reduce stress, working on communication and organization between teams as people take off time, or having a group discussion. Whatever you choose, the focus should be on identifying holiday stress and encouraging employees to be proactive in dealing with it.

Be Flexible

Lots of employees have children and the holidays can add extra obligations to an already full calendar. Employees may need to take some time off to meet their family obligations. Consider flex scheduling to help your employees out during this busy time. This way, if they must take an afternoon off, have them come in early or stay late a day or two to catch up. If you’re in a business that often requires workers to stay late on Christmas Eve, run a contest so that different employees can have the chance to stay or go home. It may help to incentivize the position with a bonus for their time if the company can afford it.


The holiday season is the perfect chance to reach out to the client, old employee, or colleague that you have not spoken to in a while. Dropping a holiday card in the mail or sending a small gift can remind these people of the personal connection you have with them. This will leave them with positive feelings about you so you can reach out again after the New Year for your pitch.

Get Physical

Physical activity is proven to reduce depression and stress, so get moving and go for a walk during the workday. It doesn’t have to be Olympic speedwalking, but even a steady stroll around the office building or outside can boost your metabolism, immune system, and reduce cortisol. Healthy habits will make a massive impact in the long and short-term.

Ease Back into the New Year

Remember that after the rush of the holidays and end of the year, there will be a lull. Take the extra time you will have the first week of January to formulate new goals and evaluate your performance over the last 12 months. Allow yourself to reflect and be mindful at the beginning of the year, and let your employees do the same. By the second week of January, everyone will be ready to embrace the new opportunities in the year.

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