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Stress is often seen in workplaces but funnily enough holidays can be more stressful.

The holidays offer plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious — the gifts you haven’t bought (or wrapped), the end of year rush, the office parties. For many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family – the family dinner, the obligations, and the burden of family tradition. Holiday stress can be a trigger for more serious problems.

“There’s this idea that holiday gatherings with family are supposed to be joyful and stress-free,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “That’s not the case. Family relationships are complicated. But that doesn’t mean that the solution is to skip the holidays entirely.”

Holidays have their part to play. With holidays and with work, we are often to blame for making our stress worse. How often do you take breaks during your working day? When you’re busy wrapping, cooking, organising, or being a chauffeur, do you take a breather? It is proven that rest is vital in combating stress, but the misconception is how much rest is needed.

Some people have come back to work more stressed out and exhausted than before there holidays. If you’re one of these people, pause for five-minutes, it will help.

I read an article by Frances Booth today that rang home for me; “In a five-minute lull between tasks, instead of giving ourselves, and our mind, a quick breather, many of us jump to fill that space with a non-essential digital task. We argue that we’re stressed, overworked and overloaded. But perhaps we need to take a look at how we voluntarily choose to spend the little pockets of time we get given.”

Stress exists, it isn’t a bad thing, it helps us know when we’re pushing our limits. How we react to and manage our stress is what’s important. We’ve emphasised rest as a Workplace Fundamental and its importance before, in our video series with Mark Dobson. Whether you’re taking five-minutes to breathe, five-minutes to clear your head, five-minutes to just sit quietly, or maybe to have a blissful 5-minute Halo Massage™ at your desk; five-minutes can make a huge impact on your stress levels and help you recharge.

Start combatting your stress, with short pockets of five-minute rests.