For many people the end of a year is a time of increased stress.
Instead of relaxing and unwinding from a busy year, the pressures of buying
gifts, travelling or spending time with long lost relatives makes it a
In our household for example, my 4 year-old daughter’s excitement levels
have been taken to new highs by performing in front of 800 people as a
‘teddy bear’ in her first ever ballet concert.
Loaded on top of this was her Kindergarten show, this time performing the
role of an ‘angel’ in a Nativity Play, and counting down the days to our
four-week trip to Tasmania.
Just yesterday, she woke at 5.15 am and started packing her bags to go. I
smiled when she told me she had packed 8 videos for the trip!
Now I’m really looking forward to our holiday and spending time at Freycinet
Lodge on the Island’s east-coast, feeling the crunch of pristine white sand
under my feet at Wineglass Bay, watching the sun set over the pink granite
outcrops of ‘The Hazards’ and tasting the fresh salty tang of
locally grown pacific oysters.
But it won’t be easy getting ready, packing and then travelling for 12 hours
with full luggage and 2 children under 5 years old.
Add to this the fact we’re staying with relatives. So what is the solution?
Here are my Top 5 Ways to make End of Year Holidays a relaxing and stress
1. CLARIFY AND SHARE EXPECTATIONS.
Be aware of the extra pressure on families at this time of the year. Clarify
with family members what each individual wants from the break. For me, it
may be reading all those business books I didn’t get time for during the
year. I know for my wife, it is getting extra help looking after the
children and spending time together as a family. How can both these needs be
met? Use these three questions to clarify the needs and wants of others at
this busy time. What do you want? What do you dread? What will put a smile
on your face?
2. PLAN, MONITOR AND BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET.
Money issues can be a big source of conflict at the end of the year. It is
meant to be a time for gift giving and sharing but it can get out of hand.
Set a budget for gifts, entertainment and food. Stick to the budget and
monitor it regularly so you don’t overspend.
3. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SHARE TASKS.
You can’t do everything all of the time. Many people strive for perfection
at the end of the year because of the many positive and festive images
portrayed by the media. Be realistic and work out what you can and can’t
achieve. Ask for and get help. Be prepared to give up some control to share
4. COMMUNICATE YOUR FEELINGS.
The end of the year, and in Western cultures Christmas, is an emotional
time. Share your feelings of joy with others. If you’re feeling stressed,
let others know how you feel and ask for support.
5. KEEP UP YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE.
Keep doing the things you have enjoyed doing during the year, like exercise
and eating well. Take time out for yourself and your family.
© 2004 8M Media & Communications Thomas Murrell. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.
You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom’s blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com.