Wellbeing in the workplace: Managing end of year stresses

We are fast approaching the end of year, a time when many of us find ourselves under extra pressure, extra stresses seem to creep in.

 This year, there is added difficulty with uncertainty as to if we can reconnect with families and friends – will Aucklanders be released? What does Delta mean for all of us over the next six months? A lot is unknown and out of our control, leaving us feeling anxious and uncomfortable.

We ask Emma Goldstraw of Total Health to share with us some top tips – how can we roll through the next six weeks or so without leaving ourselves burnt out and frazzled by the time we reach our holidays?

We do need positive stress (known as eustress) in our life, it’s good for us – inspiring, motivating, and enhancing our performance. There is a tipping point when too much can become negative stress, distress, which has the opposite effect. Distress can leave us anxious, decrease performance, feels unpleasant and can have long lasting mental/physical problems.

In my readings, I came across the 4 As theory and liked the four strategies:*

  1. Avoid

What can you avoid? The idea being what stress can we limit by being organised and planning? Say no to those things you don’t want to do or don’t have time for. You really can say no, miss out on those engagements that take rather than give you energy. Has something been on your list forever, how about removing it, does it really need doing, could someone else do it?

  1. Alter

Could you ask someone to change their behaviours if they are negatively affecting you? Can you communicate clearly when you need help or support, speak up and push back against unrealistic demands and deadlines. You could address your time management skills, how can you run your own day more smoothly?

Woman holds her head in her hands feeling stressed

  1. Accept

If you can’t change the situation, can you accept it? Try voicing your feelings with a friend or loved one. Can you forgive to remove those negative feelings, for you not for them? Be kind to yourself, you are doing your best, list your positive attributes and out your focus there? Switching up negative self-talk to the positive can change your daily outlook. Failure isn’t failure it’s just learning.

  1. Adapt

We tend to pile on the pressure – can you change up our standards, perfection really doesn’t exist, let it go. Will this difficult situation you are currently in be the same in five years, have perspective? Adapt your thinking and reframe positively, does it really matter? Ask yourself what brings you joy, then work out a strategy to get more of those things into your weeks. Acknowledge that there is stress and there always will be, life is a crazy ride, implement some of the above strategies that resonate and take time to reflect.

Sunshine and holidays are around the corner!

*Source: Mayo Clinic.

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