Days feel short.
Pressure is on.
Christmas deadlines coming up so fast you can barely blink in case you miss one.
Waking up in the dark, going to bed in the dark. Tiredness throughout the day.
It can be a stressful time of year attempting to finish everything off and getting ready for Christmas. And that’s not just work but personal life too.
So how can you keep your energy and morale up, help others in the same position, when the pressure is getting you down?
You’ve most probably heard eat well – sleep well – exercise already, and there’s a lot to be said for it.
- Eat well. There’s lots already said on this and it’s true. It’ll help maintain your energy levels, rather than peaking and troughing with the ‘oh so easy’ snacks and caffeine/stimulant hits only break through the tiredness in bursts.
- Sleep well. Easier said than done? When you constantly feel tired or you’ve had late nights out on Christmas socials it can feel like an early night to compensate will sort it all out, but it can lead to poor nights sleep. Keeping a routine as much as possible will help you sleep better and feel less tired during the day.
- Get moving. It’ll give you a break from the daily grind, give you a boost of positive feeling afterwards and can also be a good way to shake off some of the pressure so you see things differently when you get back to work.
If you’re doing that, or perhaps finding it’s not quite easy to stick to here are some additional tips to try.
- Take time out to remind yourself what you’re doing this for, what this means for you and your organisation. It’s easy to get lost in the slog of it all and lose sight of why what you do matters.
- Prioritise what’s really critical. Sometimes the pressure of deadlines comes from ourselves. If you don’t make it what are the consequences? Does it have to be done before Christmas?
- Get outside, preferably in the morning. Even just 10-15 mins of daylight can help your body clock keep time and it’ll help you feel more alert and less tired during the day. If you can turn it into a walk that will also help you keep moving too!
- Do something to keep you inspired. Perhaps it’s reading or listening to someone. Perhaps it’s doing something completely different. Inspiration feels good, gives you energy and will help you keep going when the pressure is on.
- Make time for yourself. So hard when you’ve got so much to do. Unwinding gives you the chance to refresh yourself and find renewed energy for everything ahead.
Siân obtained her PhD and spent one year in post-doctoral research before she joined AstraZeneca working on late stage drug discovery projects. She returned to academia managing a range of translational research projects and recently oversaw a >£6m National Institute for Health Research Patient Safety Translational Research Centre focused on primary care. Siân obtained her qualification as an executive level coach and now focuses on supporting scientists who have just taken on greater leadership responsibility, so that they become self-assured leaders.
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