11 ways to manage year-end stress

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]
From Dale Carnegie’s Anita Zinsmeister comes this:
Knowing the holidays are a busy time, be prepared for the madness and take the time for self-care.  Dale Carnegie has compiled a series of scientifically proven tips to help manage stress as you approach the end of the year.
Here are 11 ways to manage that year-end stress: 

1.  Plan – With so much going on during the holidays, it is best to get what you need to do out of your head and into a task list.  It may be helpful to create two itineraries — one for work tasks and another for home tasks.  Make use of your calendar to schedule blocks of time for upcoming events.   

2. Be Realistic – Understand and accept that the pace of the holidays is different than the rest of the year.  Chances are, projects will not run as smoothly or efficiently around this time.  As a result, adjust your expectations and plan ahead.  Be realistic when developing timetables for projects.   

3.  Prioritize – While you want to scale back your expectations on deadlines, you will want to step up your level of efficiency.  With so many obligations, you will need to prioritize your tasks to ensure that you accomplish what you need to.   

4.  Socialize – Although you want to be efficient with your time, don’t forget to share some time with your co-workers.  Likely, they too will be in the throes of holiday stress.  Share holiday plans and consider doing something fun like a holiday gift exchange or luncheon.

5.  Budget – People often cite money as a main stressor during the holidays.  Plan in advance for the additional expenses that come around this time, such as gifts, lunches, and dinners.  If you have a handle on your holiday finances, you can avoid one of the biggest holiday pitfalls. 

6.  Keep Active – With the days getting shorter and so much going on, it is easy to cut out physical activity.  Not only will staying active keep the holiday pounds off, walking just 15 minutes a day has been shown to reduce stress.

7.  Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle – People have the tendency to burn the midnight oil during the holidays.  Overextending oneself often leads to poor eating habits and a lack of sleep.  Eat right as often as you can and get at least seven hours of sleep.   

8.  Laugh – The holidays can be overwhelming, but they really should be enjoyable. Try not to take things too seriously by keeping lighthearted.  If you find yourself getting too worked up, search the web for some jokes or watch a funny movie.

9.  Volunteer – Sometimes it can help reduce stress to do something for others.  Being charitable with your time or making a donation is a chance to give to others who might not have opportunities during the holidays otherwise.

10.  Reflect – Take time to reflect on how you feel.  Between finishing projects and wrapping gifts, you might feel burned out.  This is natural, and it may help you deal with stress to share your feelings with friends, family, or co-workers. 

11.  Relax – Everyone has different ways to unwind and relax.  Take the time to meditate, read, or do yoga to calm your nerves at the end of the day.
Executive Summary:  The holidays are an especially stressful time. For most of us, the clock is ticking to complete year-end projects at work and accomplish all those last-minute holiday tasks at home.  To combat holiday anxiety, we have compiled a list of tips to stay happy and healthy during this time. 
[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]