0845 355 1159
Learn more about Executive Coaching

10 Top Tips: How to Reduce Stress this Christmas

Father Christmas might be all 'ho, ho, ho', but sadly for many employees, the festive season can be far from jolly, with increased workloads and pressure from employers to hit looming deadlines and targets. To help you cope better, business coach Marielena Sabatier gives us her top tips on dealing with stress in the workplace.

While it is widely recognised that some levels of stress in the workplace can be positive and lead to increased employee motivation and productivity, the downsides of stress are too important to ignore. 'Negative' stress comes from feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope with the responsibility or emotion faced at the time. It doesn't mean a person can't, it just means they feel they can't. It is a feeling of being stuck, depressed, anxious and panicked.

Stress can't be handled effectively until the root causes have been identified. As stress is complex and can be caused by a variety of different factors, you may need some help to pinpoint what is making you feel stressed. Rather than bottle it up, talk to someone trustworthy at work. Or enlist the support and help of a business coach who is experienced in helping people work through their problems and putting in place action plans that will eliminate stress.  Here are my top ten tips on coping with stress:

1. Accept stress

Denial of stress only worsens the symptoms. You need to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you're in a situation that needs to change.

2. Find the root cause of stress

This isn't necessarily as easy as it sounds but good coaching can usually get to the heart of the matter fairly quickly. You need to spend time contemplating your feelings to understand the sources of stress, and talking to a friend or business coach can help provide clarity and focus.

3. Identify what needs to happen to change the cause of the stress

It's important not to place too much emphasis on reducing the symptoms of stress without acknowledging its underlying causes. Changing the cause might include looking for a more suitable job. Other examples of changing the cause might include arranging for some work to be delegated to others. It could also include improving your organisational skills, so that things don't get so out of control in the future.

4. Focus on the solution not the problem

Instead of dwelling on the problem, you need to ask yourself how you would ideally be feeling or what your ideal desired outcome is. Too often people get stuck thinking about a problem without considering an alternative or focusing on the end result they want to achieve.

5. Set an action plan in place

Without actions you are placing your destiny in the hands of others. Blaming others for the situation is also futile. To reduce stress, you need to take responsibility to make the situation different. You'll be surprised at how much better you feel by simply knowing you are taking steps to alleviate the problem, however small they might seem. Moving forward will make you feel empowered and in control.

6. Don't take on too much

If you are feeling stressed, you shouldn't overwhelm yourself by taking on extra duties that aren't necessary or important.

7. Delegate and say no

Sometimes saying no is essential to reduce stress and you need to do this without feeling guilty. You also need to ask others for help if you need it.

8. Prioritise

Even if you feel stressed, you can't avoid all the responsibilities and obligations you have, but by prioritising carefully you can tackle each obligation in your own time and way, which will help you feel more in control.

9. Exercise

When stressed, people tend to overlook their hobbies, friends and interests but spending time with family and friends can be the best tonic. Exercise also helps combat stress by releasing endorphins that create a natural high and it can help replace feelings of tension with optimism and calm.

10. Focus on the positive

Count your blessings daily. At the end of every working day, taker time to reflect on the good things that happened and write them down. At the end of the month, when you read the list, you'll realise that life is far better than you thought.

Marielena Sabatier is CEO of Inspiring Potential, helping people achieve their true potential. For more career.

Back to in the news