Beat Christmas Stress

beat christmas stressChristmas is supposed to be jolly. But in reality, studies show it’s actually the most stressful time of the year. Follow our tips to make it through the festive season stress-free, both at work and at home this year:

Sources of Christmas Stress

Festive stress and anxiety stems from:

  • Money worries and overspending

  • Pressure to ‘wrap things up’ at work before Christmas holidays

  • The feeling there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done

  • Loneliness, which is often intensified at this time of year

  • Spending time with family members who you don’t always get on with

What can you do to reduce Christmas stress? Since you spend a good portion of your time at work, and your job doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas, let’s start with the office:

Tips for Reducing Christmas Stress in the Office

Surveys show that over 54% of employees feel extra pressure and stress at Christmas. This stress may come from balancing work with private life, and it’s never harder to strike this balance than now. Here are some tips for surviving the next few weeks:

Be Considerate

Not everyone enjoys the festive period, and we never know what’s worrying other people. If someone seems to be a ‘Grinch’ don’t let their low mood affect you. Be aware that it’s a difficult time of year for many people. Don’t let frustrations and fraying tempers get you down. Let’s be honest, there’s already enough to worry about at Christmas!

Prioritise your Time

Decide what can and can’t wait until after Christmas to complete. Identify some major goals and work towards them. Review these goals each week and change them if necessary.

Keeping an end goal in sight gives you a clear target to achieve before taking time off ‘guilt-free’ to spend with family or relaxing alone.

Declutter your Environment

Now is a great time to clear out your desk drawers or delete messages cluttering up your inbox. Creating a tidy, efficient environment around you will automatically reduce your stress levels. Make clearing up the clutter part of your annual festivities.

Stay Positive

Think about how many positive things you achieved at work this year, and how many times you handled stress well. Reviewing your past achievements prompts your brain to release Dopamine โ€“ one of the happy hormones. You’ve already survived 100% of these challenging experiences – don’t worry, you can get through the next few weeks!

Remember, if you’re really drowning at work this Christmas, ask your boss or your colleagues for help. If you really need help, make asking for that help your Christmas gift to yourself. It could take the sting completely out of the Christmas stress you’re feeling.

Reduce Christmas Stress at Home

The office isn’t the only source of stress at this time of year. Chances are, you’re already fretting about buying gifts for fussy relatives and making sure that cooking Christmas dinner goes without a hitch. Here are some tips for managing stress and anxiety over the festive period at home:

Leave Work where it Belongs

Once you leave the office, leave work stress behind. Don’t let it spill over into your home life. Learning to separate work and home is a great way of managing stress at any time of year.

Don’t Overspend

With sales everywhere, it’s tempting to spend money you don’t have. Avoid sleepless nights and money woes by setting a budget and sticking to it. If you are really struggling to buy loved-ones gifts, why not get creative and give vouchers for your time? You could cook parents a dinner, decorate someone’s bedroom or take them on a picnic.


Don’t forget to carve out some ‘me’ time, especially if you’re already under pressure at work. Go for a walk or take a nice hot bath and forget your stresses for a while. Taking some ‘downtime’ means you’ll return to work firing on all cylinders and ready to start the new year with a boom!

Manage your Expectations

Christmas should be fun, but the holidays are never perfect and interpersonal relationships are never more tested. Keep your expectations realistic and you’ll enjoy the season a lot more. Ensuring your Christmas stress levels are as low as possible will help you get the most out of the festive break.

At Illumine, we have various courses that support beating stress. From energy and well-being to work-life balance and emotional intelligence training, we’ve got you covered.

Have a lovely Christmas from all at Illumine Training! And in the interests of inclusiveness, if you are not celebrating Christmas – for whatever reason – enjoy the holiday season, the end of the year and all the very best for 2020.

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