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End of Year: 3 Tips to Staying Sane

The calendar year is winding down, and so your fiscal year may be as well.

Depending on your industry, you may be hitting your peak or the slowest time of the year.

For those in peak, I hear you. For almost five years I worked for FedEx and December was the most stressful time of the year. The volumes coming through took tolls on the systems, and there were bound to be errors everywhere; simply because of the stress on the system, the stress on the client, and the stress on you!

Out of all of these stressful scenarios (whether at work or home) there’s only one scenario you can control: YOU.

Here are three tips to staying sane through the craziness:

1) Deep Breaths.

I know this seems basic, but science actually backs this up. Taking deep breaths actually lowers your stress levels. And even better news, it’s not hard to do. If you need something with structure, you can complete this exercise in a few minutes. Healthline suggests that you do this twice per day:

Practicing the 4-7-8 Method

The 4-7-8 numbers in the method's name refer to the counts when breathing in, holding your breath and exhaling.

1. Start by sitting up straight in a comfortable position.

2. Next place the tip of your tongue on the ridge of your gums, just behind your upper front teeth.

3. Expand your diaphragm and slowly inhale through your nose for a count of 4.

4. Hold your breath for another count of 7.

5. Open your mouth slightly, keeping your tongue in place, and exhale for a count of 8.

6. Repeat this cycle four times.

Proponents of 4-7-8 breathing recommend using this technique at least twice a day.

2) Control what you can control.

We can’t control the traffic, the insane and hectic lines, the airport, the in-laws, the irate clients, or crazy uncles, but we can control how we respond. Know that most people who exhibit stress toward you, are themselves, stressed. It’s not a personal thing. Use the

breathing technique in tip #1 to keep calm, then make a decision whether or not to tactfully address each situation.

Outside of this, there are areas you can control. You can plan ahead, be prepared, and be realistic (but hopeful) with your expectations.

3) Remember the reason for the season.

The purpose of the holiday season for you may be religious, family-centric, or a time of

giving and receiving. No matter how you feel about the root and soul of the holiday season, be mindful of it. It’s a time to also reflect on the year, congratulate yourself for making it through, and appreciate all that you do have.

Happy Holidays to you all.

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