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Combating Christmas Stress

  • Blog
  • 16 October 2015

Christmas is such a joyful time the last thing anyone wants is to ruin it with work-related stress. For this reason our team here at the Federation of Small Businesses has collated some tips on combating Christmas stress. By implementing the following measures we can all afford to fully embrace this magical time of the year.

Combating Christmas Stress

Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

We can all reach a point where everything is simply too much to handle, but in many cases we realise it too late. The worst part is that we may notice the signs of work stress getting the better of us and yet at the same time we may be oblivious to the underlying cause. These signs come in many forms such as a loss of appetite, social withdrawal, depression, fatigue and ultimately feeling indifferent towards the work we do.

In some situations we may turn to alcohol and other substances to help us cope, which can only make things worse. The reason we should pay attention to these signs is because they are easy to control the moment they surface. If you find that all of a sudden you can't sleep, and when you do sleep you dream about work issues, then jump into action straight away.

Prioritise and Organise

One of the best ways in which you can prevent stress from building up is to stay on top of your work. By this we mean prioritising effectively. Start by taking a look at your daily responsibilities. Do your best to separate tasks according to the level of importance. Finish what needs to be done urgently and schedule the rest for later. It's also important that you make sufficient time to relax with friends and family, so don't let every waking hour be about business.

Another tip you might want to consider is arriving at work a little bit earlier. Ten or fifteen minutes might not sound like much, but it will give you the chance to gather your thoughts and start organising. When it's lunch time make sure you are nowhere near your work desk and if possible take five minute breaks throughout the day to clear your mind.

Many of us tend to over-commit and this usually leads to a meltdown. If you are in the position to plan your day then make sure there is enough time to handle everything. Making back-to-back plans and underestimating how long these tasks might take will eventually catch up with you. In the end you will find yourself drowning in commitments you simply cannot cover.

There are several online tools that can help you boost productivity in addition to helping you stay organised. For example, there are programs that keep track of how much time you spend on your computer and how you spend it. There are even programs that force you to get the work done using a variety of techniques. The point is to stay motivated.

Establish a Plan and Stick to it

Last but not least, establish a plan and stick to it. It doesn't matter if you create this plan on a daily or a monthly basis, provided that you adhere to what you set out to do. The psychological stress will automatically be reduced once you know that everything has been covered and all you have to do is follow your plan. Now you won't have to worry about having enough time to get other things done while finishing a task, which also means all your concentration is improved and your energy better directed.


At the Federation of Small Businesses we are firm believers that work shouldn't create unnecessary stress. Of course there are some situations that cannot be foreseen and some tasks are inherently stressful. However, in the vast majority of cases, employees and managers alike are in the position to take control.

We all deserve to enjoy where we work and to celebrate our achievements, especially when Christmas comes around. We hope that these tips will help in ensuring your enjoyment of the festive season.

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