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Don’t Fall Prey to Holiday e-Stress Syndrome

How to handle stress during the holidays.

The last couple of years have been one heck of a ride. And we all know that the Holidays can be stressful during a “normal” year. But, unfortunately, we have all kinds of added stress points to deal with.

This year the Holidays geared up earlier. You can feel it in the air and can experience it first hand when you go out, even if to just run an errand or do a quick stop at the grocery store. Holiday stuff out before Halloween — and empty shelves. Yeah, no stress there.

More people are out and about. It seems folks want some level of normalcy — or to get ahead of the game and stock up. Probably a combo of both. Either way, things seem fragile.

Some you’ll run into are just not happy campers and seem to have less patience. I feel bad for them and give them the benefit of the doubt. None of us know what anyone else is going through.

Your Annual Take a Deep Breath Reminder

With the Holidays comes the pressure and stress of all the holiday-related issues that creep up on us every year. This season we have new restrictions and concerns.

Visiting in-laws and outlaws, entertaining details, gift buying, business and personal responsibilities colliding, holiday cards, and the list goes on. But everything is still a bit different this year. Probably due to not knowing what lies ahead. More of a reason to be happy in the moment.

Stress Filled Emails

Every year, when folks get stressed, it shows in their emails. Some type their emails more abruptly, which relays a blunt tone. It’s nothing personal; they’re just rushed, stressed, and running low on time or patience.

This intonation often comes from not taking the time to include all those little details we talk about here (greeting, closing, TIA!, proper sentence structure, and grammar, for starters ). But with things the way they are this year — it is even more critical to make sure to add those details.

I get it; heck, even I feel overwhelmed depending on the day. Busy folks, with deadlines and responsibilities and new ways of having to do a lot of things. They’re whipping off emails with their thought or emotion of the moment and neglecting to include just the basic common courtesies.

Contacts sending emails that may be a little condescending, a tad dictatorial, and some even downright rude in tone. All because they have too much on their plate.

Yesterday, I had a site visitor email within moments of ordering one of my eBooks asking if I was a fraud.

I just ordered, where’s my eBook — are you a fraud?

A fraud? Wow… I think my sites being live for decades would indicate otherwise.

It turns out they hadn’t whitelisted me (as asked to do on my confirmation page), and their download link was in their spam (promotions) folder.

Make the Time for the Little Email Details

These little details contribute to the persona of who we are. When we don’t make that effort, we increase the chance for negative perception. This applies to the Subject field as well — one of the first things the recipient will see and what may determine if your email even gets opened.

SUBJECT: Where’s my download!?!?

It turns out she did not look in her junk/trash folder. If she had taken the time to read the notes throughout the order process, she would have known how to prevent that and checked there first before jumping to scold me.

And you don’t know, by taking the time to be kind, instead of reacting in kind, how you can make a difference in someone’s day. So I responded with courtesy and asked nicely if she checked her junk/spam/trash folders. Also, I commented that if the email with the required link wasn’t there, let me know, and I would send another one pronto.

Not a peep after that. No apology, no thank you.

This happens every year. As things get crazier, people have less patience and type before thinking things through. 2021 has been like that times 10.

With that in mind, also keep in mind that stressed-out recipients are more inclined to read in-between the lines what isn’t there. You know what happens when we assume?

That’s why it is wise to refrain from emotional formatting, as you risk it being amplified even more at this sentimental time of year.

Being Thoughtful and Considerate Only Takes a Moment

Don’t fall prey to the annual Holiday e-Stress Syndrome. You are better, wiser, and more considerate than that.

Now is not the time of the year to let your evil-twin take over your email communications because you feel rushed, stressed, or overburdened. Take a moment, take a deep breath and clear your head before tapping out any emotionally sensitive emails.

And when you are not sure of others’ intentions, instead, be kind and give the benefit of the doubt. Ask for clarification before jumping the gun.

Get in the spirit! Don’t use the fact you are not face-to-face with the person on the other side of this screen to indulge in selfish emotions. Instead, be an example of happiness and good cheer — even if you feel otherwise.

More importantly, for this year, it’s all about each of us helping to lift each other up. That’s genuinely part of what the holiday spirit should include, don’t you agree?

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