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Managing year-end stress

Tips to help you cope with the demands of the year’s final push.

It’s been a tumultuous year for all of us – but, happily, the end is now in sight. Although we’re all welcoming the prospect of a break and a fresh start in January, the reality is that the final few months of any year tend to be the most stressful, as we cram to complete work and keep up with social and family obligations around the holidays. Follow these tips to help you get through the final push:

  • Self-care comes first. By now it’s become boring to hear, but it’s still worth repeating: If you don’t have the basics in place (good sleep, a balanced diet and some invigorating exercise), you’ll find everything far more difficult to cope with.
  • Practice self-awareness. When you’re busy and rushing from one job to another, it’s easy for the entire day to become a blur. You may therefore miss out on your body’s signals, like hunger – and before you know it, what started out as a pang becomes a full blown hunger attack. Take a few minutes to monitor what you’re feeling, so that if there is anything you can address (like thirst or a headache), you can do so before it becomes a major issue.
  • Make time for hobbies. Often, we tend to let work or other priorities take over at busy times because we believe they’re more urgent. Wrong! It’s exhausting to keep going without replenishing your energy, so whatever it is you love doing – whether it’s an early morning swim or a game of chess with your son – make time for it.
  • Delegate or prioritise tasks to get them done.