7 ways to make it to the end of the year and manage stress
By Sophia Power, BA Media
- The rush towards the end of the year isn’t just busy, it can be downright stressful. With deadlines looming, kids with a full end-of-year calendar, and social commitments, it’s extremely common to feel like you’re running on empty. Our top tips to manage end of year stress are super simple and easy to implement.
- Checking in with yourself, bosses, friends and family about what can reasonably be achieved towards the end of the year can help with managing expectations. You’re only human! Breaking things down into smaller tasks and prioritising can shift your perspective and your productivity.
- Finding the balance - even or especially during chaotic times - will allow you to restore your energy and find a sense of calm after a busy period. Restorative practices like mindful meditation, yin yoga, and even disconnecting from your technology, can help to “refill” the empty tank.
- If you’re doing your best to manage your stress through this time but could use a little extra help, herbal medicine can provide relief. Adding a daily herbal supplement that targets stress and mild anxiety symptoms can help you get through to Christmas time. Stressful relatives don’t stand a chance against good herbal medicine support!
The end of the year can have many of us feeling excited about the prospect of a break, quality time with friends and family, good weather and delicious food. The flip side is that to enjoy the holidays, there is work to wrap up - workloads that can suddenly look like mountains with the holiday deadlines looming. Avoid the quicksand-like overwhelm of work, Christmas parties, school plays, or exams by following our seven tips below for making it to the end of the year feeling cool, calm and capable.
1. Manage expectations: productivity at work
If you know that the workload piles up in those last few weeks before the holiday break begins, make sure it’s manageable and reasonable. Speak to your boss or colleagues about what is achievable in that timeframe. For anything non-negotiable, prioritise the work and get the more difficult aspects out of the way as soon as possible.
Maybe it’s you who you need to have a talk to about managing your expectations of yourself. We’re not machines - as nice as it can feel to have everything neatly wrapped up by the end of the year, ask yourself - is this actually achievable, reasonable, or even necessary?
2. Disconnect regularly
Much like the Pomodoro technique, rather than trying to get things done without coming up for air - it can actually be more fruitful and effective to take regular breaks. This could look like stepping away from your desk for a stretch, making a cup of herbal tea, basking in the sunshine or taking a walk around the block.
This time of year is also the perfect time for a digital detox if the emails, texts, or triggering social media posts are contributing to an increase in anxiety. Even if they’re not, are they more distracting than helpful? Pull the plug on anything that doesn’t serve your needs.
3. Stay on track with diet and exercise: how can diet and lifestyle help in managing stress?
If you’re already attending more parties and events towards the end of the year, it can be easy to throw the healthy eating and exercise routine out the window. Before you get too hedonistic, remember that daily movement and healthy eating contribute to mood and energy levels. If you can feel the pressure mounting, increasing your consumption of alcohol and processed or sugary foods is going to leave you feeling less able to cope.
Staying hydrated, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at each meal, and keeping consumption of caffeine, takeaways, alcohol, and sugary/salty foods to a minimum will help you stay clear-headed while feeling (and looking) your best.
Try our tips on how to stay cool, calm and healthy through the festive season the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) way.
4. Make a date for therapy
Yes, some people still balk at the idea of seeing a therapist (at least not until something is seriously wrong), but if you know that the holiday season can be triggering for you then why not proactively seek out professional help to equip yourself with some tools and strategies to manage stress?
Christmas can be a particularly tough time for many people and bring up a lot of things. This can spill over into feeling more stressed in the lead-up. If this sounds like something you find yourself going through at the end of the year, why not enlist some help to get ahead of it?
5. Eat the frog: tips on how to stay productive at the end of the year
If you’re wondering how to stay productive at the end of the year, you might want to try a productivity technique called ‘eat the frog’. This technique refers to doing the task(s) you least want to do first thing in the morning.
Why is ‘eating the frog’ such a good tool for organisation and supporting mental health? Firstly, you leave yourself with little opportunity to put a task off until later or procrastinate. It also helps you create your own agenda for the day and sets you up for greater success.
Eating the frog doesn’t just help you to be more proactive, positive and productive - it’s also a bonafide stress-reducing technique that can help you feel more fulfilled as you see yourself achieving the goals you set. In fact, this is a great strategy to take with you through the end of the year and throughout your life.
6. Find balance: benefits of meditation for stress management
With people to see and so many things to do, it can feel like all systems are go - but where are you able to rest and restore? In TCM, it’s important to find balance. While the sense of pressure, urgency and activity is more a more ‘yang’ and intense energy, you can balance this in your downtime with some calming yin practices.
Mindfulness meditation, body scanning, yin yoga or gentle stretching, a dip in the ocean, and even enjoying a good book on the couch are all tried and true remedies for preventing end-of-year burnout.
Read more here about the incredible benefits of mindfulness and some techniques for getting started.
If you’re already convinced of the benefits of meditation for stress management you can get started by checking out our short guided meditation for mindfulness.
7. Send in the reinforcements
If you can feel the stress creeping in and you’d like a little extra support, try Fusion Stress & Anxiety which contains:
- A specialised extract of ashwagandha (withania) called KSM-66®, which is used to improve the body’s ability to adapt to stress plus relieve stress and mild anxiety symptoms.
- Polygala, which is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to calm the mind, reduce irritability, and relieve excess nervous energy.
For extra support in getting through until the end of the year feeling your best, check out Fusion Stress & Anxiety.