The festive season is almost here. And, while this time of year is normally full of holiday cheer, many find the lead up stressful.

Did you know that 50% of people feel stressed in the run-up to Christmas? In fact, 1 in 5 Brits suffer from unmanageable stress on an average day – never mind during the holiday season.

Whether it’s balancing both work and personal commitments, juggling a diary full of Christmas parties or hitting those all-important end-of-year seasonal targets, holiday stress is common in the workplace.


What causes holiday stress?

Holiday stress is sometimes unavoidable.

Research shows this stress comes from a wide range of reasons like purchasing Christmas presents (56%), finishing work and projects (49%), cramming a whole month’s worth of work into a few weeks (44%) or even managing extra expenses (43%).

Whether you’re attending your 100th Christmas party of the season or burning the midnight oil to finish that all-important project, it’s essential to remember that holiday stress affects everyone differently.

So, it’s crucial to watch out for the signs and symptoms of holiday stress in yourself, co-workers and employees.


Signs of Holiday Stress

Some signs of holiday stress might include:

  • Difficulty in balancing both personal and professional commitments
  • Feeling low in mood or lacking inspiration or ideas
  • Sporadic, snappy attitude
  • Reduced performance, commitment and focus
  • Negative attitude towards the holidays
  • Reduced interest in festive workplace activities


How to Cope with Holiday Stress at Work

Stress can start as a small issue and develop into something that impacts your ability to carry on as normal or achieve your end of year work goals. So, it’s essential to be proactive and take steps to address stress during Christmas and beyond.

Whether you’re supporting yourself, a peer or your whole workplace through the holidays, there are some actionable steps to help alleviate those feeling a bit anxious:

1. Promoting an open-door policy, so your employees feel comfortable talking to you about any pressure they feel this time of year. Showing empathy and understanding will help you create a supportive workplace.

2. Try to offer more flexibility during the Christmas season, so everyone can achieve a better balance between personal as well as professional holiday commitments.

3. Take some time to unwind, plan and rest to prevent stress from building up and impacting your productivity.

4. Get plenty of exercise. Maintaining a healthy mind and body will keep stress at bay during this busy holiday period.

5. Talk to someone. Open up about your feelings and worries — a listening ear or supportive shoulder might do the trick.


Learn More About Coping with Stress

Understanding and addressing stress is essential. Our whitepaper on workplace stress provides some practical tips on how to address these feelings, sooner rather than later.

To gauge your stress levels and whether you could gain from taking some positive steps, take our digital stress test and see the invisible impacts stress can have on both the body and mind.