As we enter the holiday period, many of us experience major stress. What do we worry about? Making the numbers, giving or getting bonuses, spending more time with our families and more. We all have our own concerns.
Here’s some stress-fighting tips that you can do right now to help you thrive in December and feel happy and calmer all year round.
1. Get Physical. Even if you don’t have time to get to the gym you can still activate your stress-fighting hormones. Walk to work or park far enough away from the office to get in a brisk walk before or after your day. Stop by a high school track on your drive to the train and do two rounds. Exercise is a powerful de-stresser. Find your own way to get some!
2. Play the Music. High-energy, motivational music uplifts us. Listen to your favorites from Bruno Mars to Pharrell, Queen to Barbara Streisand – play it on your phone, in your car, on your headphones and even while you work. Take a 5 minute music break. Music magically changes your mood and puts you in a more positive frame of mind. Like Patti LaBelle sings: “ I have a New Attitude”. Listen to her here.
3. Stop the All-nighters and Get at least Six hours of Sleep. You need your rest to deal with challenges you may be facing. We each have different sleep needs but we can’t go without it. If you have trouble going to sleep – try a natural hormone like Melatonin – available over the counter. (It’s always wise to check with your doctor first.)
4. Keep a Gratitude Diary. Before you go to sleep, make a list of at least two good things for which you are grateful. I like to jot down at least one good thing that happened at work and another one or two things for which I am grateful in my life. Focusing on the positive puts the emphasis on what REALLY matters and doing it repetitively each night or morning creates a positive mindset and reduces worry.
5. Do a 10 minute meditation. No need to know how to meditate. Just download a free app from Headspace or Calm. Five to 10 minutes is all you need. It’s fine if your mind wanders. Just bring it back to the voice on the app and you’ll feel better in a flash. Close your office door (if you have one) or go sit on a park bench or in your car. Take some deep breaths, look at nature, listen to the birds and look up at the clouds.
We all go through stress – it’s human nature. I’m writing this blog, because it helps me, too. Think back to when you’ve been through this before and how most everything worked out fine. Practice some of these tips, than play Gloria Gaynor’s theme song “I will survive” loud and strong. You will not only survive, you will most likely thrive. Happy December! —- Leslie Grossman, Chair, Vistage CEO Advisory Boards; author, LINK OUT: How to Turn Your Network into a Chair of Lasting Connections (Wiley)