3 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress

December 15, 2017

For many in hospitality, the holiday season is the most wonderful—and challenging—time of the year. While many of your guests are enjoying time off with friends and family, you and your team are working overtime to make that time off as enjoyable and fulfilling as you can.

That’s the heart of great service after all, isn’t it?
To help others create wonderful memories.

But the holiday season can be stressful for a number of reasons:

  • Increased member and customer expectations, especially if they are seeing family or hosting special holiday events with you

  • Additional hours

  • Increased stress among your team, spending time away from their own friends and family

  • Higher volume of guests

  • Banquet logistics

  • Interim temporary staff who may not know your company culture or brand ​

So what can you do to manage the stress that comes with the holidays in hospitality? Here are a few tips.
Understand Your Stress
  • Everyone experiences stress differently. Learning how to identify your behaviors under stress will help you decide what methods to use to combat them.

  • Overexcited Stress Response: you become high strung, energetic, angry, agitated, and keyed-up when under stress

  • Underexcited Stress Response: you become withdrawn, depressed, or “spaced out” when under stress

  • Frozen Stress Response: you freeze and are unable to take action or make decisions when under stress

Get Away

  • Ideally, you would try to take a short walk to change your surroundings and get a breath of fresh air, but that’s not always possible. At the minimum, try to just get away so that you can be alone for a few moments. Give yourself a little privacy to take some deep breaths and get your thoughts in order, without having to worry if you have your “Hospitality Game Face” on. After all, more than a few managers have been known to take respite in the walk-in, right?

Take Deep Breaths

  • You’ve probably heard this advice before, but it’s repeated so often because it’s good advice. Shallow breathing is one of the very first symptoms of stress and anxiety—which can then lead to an increased heart rate, dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness. When you are stressed or anxious, your body activates its “fight or flight” response, dumping adrenaline into your body and causing you to breath more shallowly to bring more oxygen into your system to deal with the threat. Learn more about the evolutionary basis for shallow breathing and stress here.

  • If you feel yourself breathing shallowly and quickly during stressful moments, avoid the temptation to breathe deeply. Instead, take slow, purposeful breaths. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and then exhale for 6-7 seconds.

Of course, it’s important to also stay hydrated, get some physical activity, eat well, and SLEEP during these stressful work periods—you can’t function at your best if your body isn’t prepared to deal with the mental stress.
To the hospitality warriors around the world this holiday season, we at RCS wish you a peaceful, happy, and joyous holiday season.