This time of year nonprofit communicators have the unenviable situation of not only having to deal with the normal holiday stress most everyone else deals with, but also the added strain of coordinating year-end campaigns at your nonprofit.
You’re probably dealing with:
- High Expectations – shopping for the perfect gifts, planning the perfect meals, writing the perfect email appeal
- Juggling Schedules – parties, school events, #GivingTuesday, family get-togethers
- Money Worries – spending too much on decorations, gifts and food; not getting enough in donations
To help you navigate this madness every year, I share some tips and resources to help you get through it the best you can.
My biggest tip for you this year is:
BE SATISIFED WITH “GOOD ENOUGH”
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always try your best. It’s just a reminder that nothing is ever perfect.
This tip if for those of us who rearrange the ornaments on our Christmas tree after our family decorates it (or the dishes in the dishwasher if you don’t do Christmas trees). It’s for those of us too scared to post that video or publish that article because it’s not the best thing they’ll ever see. (Remember, Some of Your Work Will Not Be Successful, but you have to keep going)
You can’t miss deadlines or opportunities waiting for perfection. And your need for perfection may just expand to those around you causing them to think they aren’t “good enough” either.
You are not in the perfect business. Focus on progress instead.
You can learn more about The Power of ‘Good Enough‘ from Olga Khazan at The Atlantic.
Now here are the top tips and resources for handling year-end stress from my previous posts:
Make Your Year-End Season Less Stressful: Ask for Help
In that post I share tips on asking for help like:
- Be concise and specific
- Don’t be demanding
- Don’t apologize for asking
- Try to do it face-to-face or on a call
- Practice by asking for help in smaller ways
- Reframe your request so it’s a conversation, rather than a transaction
- Create a “support team” you know you can go to
- Don’t wait til the last minute
Heidi Grant also shared these things NOT to do when asking for help:
- Emphasize how much the other person will enjoy helping
- Portray the help you need as a tiny, insignificant favor
- Remind people that they owe you
- Talk about how much their help will benefit you
Taking Care of Yourself for the Rest of the Year
This one was written during the first holiday season of 2020 so it focuses more on the specific challenges we faced that year. But it also has some good tips on coping with stress and depression during the holidays from The Mayo Clinic:
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Reach out
- Be realistic
- Set aside differences
- Stick to a budget
- Plan ahead
- Learn to say no
- Take a breather
- Seek professional help if you need it
How to Take Care of Yourself This Season
This year I shared several articles on handling stress.
- 16 Tips for Employers About How to Reduce Employee Holiday Stress by Susan M. Heathfield
- Dealing With Holidays At Work: Forced Cheer And Awkward Parties by Julia Furlan
- Holidays Can Be Stressful. They Don’t Have to Stress Out Your Team by Jennifer Moss
- Holiday stress: 10 ways to reduce it in the workplace by Insperity Staff
- Coping with Holiday Stress at Work from the American Management Association
- 8 Ways to Stress Less This Holiday Season by Dr. Frank Lipman
- Managing the Seemingly Inevitable Holiday Season Stress by Elizabeth Scott
- 29 Simple Habits That Relieve Holiday Stress and Anxiety by Jen Babakhan and Sunny Sea Gold
- 5 Self-Care Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress by Katie Sandler
- 15 Ways to Manage Stress, According to Scientists from Lydia Ramsey and Jessica Orwig
Less Stress This Year-End Season? Yes, Please!
This post shared the tips that seemed to show up most often, and while you have probably heard them all before, it’s worth being reminded to:
- Move around
- Get enough sleep
- Stay organized/have a to-do list
- Treat yourself
- Take a moment and breathe