The Holiday season rush, year-end crunch, New Year's expectations - they all place heavy demands on our minds and bodies.
This acronym can help proactively manage your stress during the holidays or any other time: H.A.L.T.
Avoid getting too:
- Hungry. This might sound goofy around the holidays, when you make good use of the extra hole in your belt, but being too hungry compromises your peak performance and focus. Turkey legs and holiday cookies aside, keep your body appropriately fueled to minimize stress and maximize your productivity.
- Angry. Unexpressed emotions do not go away, they just rear their heads in uglier ways. Carrying around anger will inevitably deteriorate relationships and your own body. The key is to vent your frustration and anger in constructive ways: talk it out with a trusted friend, write in your journal, exercise, meditate, or pray.
- Lonely. Humans are fundamentally social creatures...yes, even those of you who are introverts. A common correlate for tragic endings is being disconnected. Don't misconstrue your Facebook friends for real interactions that make you feel connected, wanted, and cared for. Reach out and connect with those at work, in your community, at your place of worship, from your alma mater--anyplace that feels easiest for you.
- Tired. If food is fuel for your body, then rest is its daily preventive maintenance. There's a reason that sleep deprivation has been used as a form of prisoner of war torture. Getting rest is a pay-me-now or pay-me-later productivity proposition. So take the long view and get the rest you need so you can sustain your productivity
These steps will keep you in balance - physically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.
You can also make the world a better place by offering a helping hand to those who might be too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
Even though this is the time of year to go, go, go, make sure you H.A.L.T. to ensure that you are at your best.