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We’re in the midst of the holiday season, which can be a wonderful but also stressful time of year. Rather than falling prey to the pressure, self-storage operators should consider these guidelines to celebrate a joyful and successful month.

Amy Campbell

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read
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While many of us are still regretting that second (or third) piece of pie we indulged in last week during Thanksgiving, time marches on as we plunge full force into the winter holidays. The month brings a bustle of activities for most of us. Of course, there will be get-togethers filled with food, drink and camaraderie. But December also ushers in a heaping pile of stress for many. It could be looming deadlines to complete before the end of the year. Perhaps you have sales goals that you have yet to meet for your self-storage business. Many companies also plan annual reviews this month, which can be taxing for supervisors and staff. Or perhaps you’ll use this time to strategize for 2024. Whatever lies ahead in the next 30 days, it’s likely a lot to handle.

If you’re feeling more burned out than amped up this holiday season, it wouldn’t be surprising. And while this time of year is joyful in many ways, it can also be overwhelming and draining on a variety of levels. There are some steps you can take, however, to keep the stress from spiraling out of control.

Focus on the now. One factor that leads to compounding anxiety is thinking about everything that needs to be done. There are so many hours in the day—not to mention energy—and your brain might feel a bit frazzled by the sheer workload. Plus, you’re likely thinking about other things you need to do in the coming weeks, like buy presents, make travel plans or settle on a dish for an upcoming holiday party potluck.

While it can be easy to go down the rabbit hole of despair, the best solution is to focus on the task in front of you. Being a multi-tasker has long been wielded as a great skill, but studies show this method comes with more disadvantages than benefits. For one, our brains simply aren’t wired this way. Switching gears causes us to actually lose focus, which means we’re more likely to make errors. So, what we’re really doing is dividing our attention.

While I still tend to “multi-task,” I’ve also started to train myself to be present in whatever I’m doing at that moment. Sometimes this means I don’t check and follow up on emails immediately, or I spend more time on a single project. For sure, it isn’t easy to let go of the multi-task mindset, but it is beneficial in the long run. You’ll find that by giving all your attention to one project at a time, you’ll complete it quicker and more efficiently.

Plan ahead and be organized. When there are collection calls to make, a unit to ready for the next rental, an update you need to send to your supervisor and a tenant in your office, you can easily become overwhelmed. Planning your day can help. I have a printed copy of my work goals for the week (I love to cross things off that list!), but I also have a dry-erase board for daily tasks. I try to complete it before signing off for the day. Of course, a multitude of things might pop up and your day could easily be hurled off course. But having a plan sets your brain on a path. Plus, checking off these items is a delight!

Find your happy place. I mean physically and mentally! When I’m having a rough day, I’ll play one of my favorite songs. Or I’ll sit outside and soak up the sunshine for a few moments or hug my cat. These little mental boosters raise my serotonin levels and give me a brief respite from whatever is plaguing me at that moment. So, get up from your desk, stretch, play a song, chat with a tenant or have a healthy snack.

Replenish and recharge. Along with this is giving yourself time to relax. Stop eating lunch at your desk while working. Don’t overcommit to projects. Take your vacation days. And, certainly, stop thinking about work when you’re not there! You need to disconnect and let your mind and body recover.

While there are some who’ve mastered living a low-stress life, it’s something the rest of us need to continually strive for and practice. The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, filled with fun. But they can also bring on a mountain of anxiety. Be sure to reach out for help if you need it. Find a trusted coworker or supervisor, a friend or family member. Or seek professional support if warranted.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. It provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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