The holiday season is here.  This usually means more time with family (yes even the ones you don’t like), big meals, banquets, holiday parties and more.  What this also means is the potential for two really big things….STRESS and POUNDS!

The holiday season is a major time for professionals to suffer from relentless amounts of stress put upon them and that they put on themselves.  Deadlines, end of year projects, planning projects, family time, buying gifts, satisfying all of the different political factions within your family (admit it, we all have them), and just getting through it all.  Oh, and since we are in Nebraska, add in the bonus of dealing with clearing snow, icy roads, accidents and temperatures that can even make your eyes hurt.  BUT, there’s good news.  There is a lot we can do to just dump this stress or re-gift it to someone else! Here are just 3 quick tips to protect yourself from holiday stress:

1. Be Smokey the Bear:  “only you can prevent forest fires” right?  So, what that really means is look out for problems ahead of time in your schedule, in your plans etc.  Then also be adamant that others do the same—don’t let them dump on you or your schedule due to their lack of planning because if you do, then you will just get more of that in the future.

2. Be realistic about work deadlines.  Depending on how much control you have here, what could you move to 1st quarter of next year as a project that would allow you to devote more time and energy to a project that actually has to get done now?  If you can just kill it on one project vs. struggling and delivering 75% with two, what will that look like—could it give you even greater success for your company?  Be realistic in your plans….do less but do it BETTER to see the results you want for the end of the year without giving yourself a heart attack.

3. Make sure your schedule includes “you” time.  If you’re like me, sometimes it’s stressful when other people control or try to control your schedule.  And this happens a lot during the holidays—work, friends, family—we mean well but we end up overcommitted.  So be sure to simply block off some times for “you”.  This means time where you don’t commit to anything and can do whatever you want.  It doesn’t mean you have to be alone, it just means that you aren’t feeling the PRESSURE of being committed to something.

Ok, so now that you will survive the holiday stress, how about those pounds?  This isn’t about “shaming” anyone.  It’s about giving you an option.  Most people gain 5-15 pounds during the holidays.  If you want to be most people, then just follow that herd and graze with all of them.  I prefer to not be a herd animal and look for better choices to separate myself from being like most people.  So if you’d like to join me in stepping away from the herd, here are three quick tips for that.

1. Maintain!  This is a huge thing for your mindset!  Don’t make your goal to lose weight during the holidays, just make a goal to maintain where you are.  If you end up losing some weight, great….but just by maintaining, you will be ahead of over 85% of the people out there—that’s called winning!

2. DRINK! ….no not that kind of drink.  Drink more WATER.  If you read my column you’ve heard me say this many times.  During the holidays drinking more water can help you avoid binge eating and avoid dehydration which would slow your metabolism.

3. Give a gift to yourself and others—we all buy gifts for kids AND adults that get wasted, that aren’t appreciated, or that don’t even last 30 days.  When is the last time you made a commitment to do something fun and beneficial with a friend, coworker, spouse, child?  Try working out together.  This builds more commitment and likelihood to stick with it and it makes it more fun together.  Martial arts, yoga, kickboxing classes….whatever you want to do, there are some great options out there and often big discounts offered during the holidays.  It’s a gift that pays dividends for everyone involved!

by Jeff Dousharm, President

Tiger Rock


For more information on health, safety and fitness, contact Jeff Dousharm at or find him on Google Plus, Facebook or twitter @Jdousharm