Manage Stress in the Workplace During Q4: How Brand Managers Can Relax

Sarah Donawerth
Sarah Donawerth
Manage Stress in the Workplace During Q4: How Brand Managers Can Relax

This blog post is not meant to diagnose or treat anybody. If you have persistent stress or anxiety, you should seek the help of a medical professional.

It’s the most wonderful (and stressful) time of the year! While most are winding down for holiday vacations, brand managers are still deploying marketing campaigns and trying to accomplish everything needed for an amazingly profitable Q4. It’s important to manage stress in the workplace during Q4 so that you can get everything done and keep your cool!

However, this is also the time of year that takes the biggest toll on a brand manager’s well-being. Working late, stressing about deadlines, and losing sleep can affect a person’s emotional and physical well-being as they try to keep up with the demands of the job.

A whopping 44% of women and 31% of men have increased levels of stress during the holiday season, according to the American Psychological Association. In addition, 59% of those surveyed felt nervous or sad, and 51% had symptoms of fatigue. The results of the holiday season for many merrymakers are higher levels of stress, so these tips can help you set up your workload for success during the holiday season.

Manage Stress in the Workplace Before It Begins


As brand managers, we typically have a large pile of work to be done at any given moment. If you’re drowning in your to-do list, consider distributing the work to the rest of your team. Training someone to complete a small task that happens daily or weekly can help you carve out enough time for holiday promotions, without adding extra hours to your day.

If you are able to manage some extra help, then interns, temps, or virtual assistants can also assist with the workload during the holidays. In fact, many schools start winter break right at the beginning of your holiday rush, so recruiting from a local school could help you find the help you need.


Setting up automations can also help to alleviate the holiday stress. An auto-reply on your email or your social media inbox can help to address the frequently asked questions from customers so that most of the heavy-lifting has been accomplished before you even open the messages.

Templates for work tasks can also prevent anything from falling through the cracks. Use a project management tool to keep all the tasks organized, then create a template that can be duplicated every time you need to accomplish those tasks.

Other automations such as using Carro for your influencer marketing, can shave time off your tasks by turning manual process into single click operations.


Some things can wait until Q1. That may be a controversial proposition, but in most cases, it is true. If you can’t delegate or automate, then you should ask if it really needs to be accomplished during Q4 and the holidays. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, start a file of all the tasks that you need to remember when you come back from holiday vacation.

Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center, says “During the holidays, our lives become even more stressful as we try to juggle our usual responsibilities with extra holiday preparation, expenses and sometimes complicated family dynamics.” Instead of overpacking your week, prioritize the tasks that will generate the most revenue and are accomplishable in the timeframe that you have available. Everything else can wait until another time.

Setting Boundaries

To avoid taking stress home with you each night, it’s important to set healthy boundaries to help you cope with the business of the holidays. Using your phone’s snooze to mute notifications, or turning off your phone after work hours may help you decompress and leave the work for the next day.

Setting boundaries may also include setting a certain number of hours you’ll work every day, or even limiting the ways your available to your co-workers when you’re trying to meet a deadline. If you need to focus, then silencing your chat notifications and asking your co-workers to contact by email instead can help you manage the amount of distractions you have to devote your time to.


During the holiday season, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. In most cases, the habits that you set during the rest of the year, including getting enough sleep and eating right, can help you avoid a lot of the triggers for holiday and Q4 stress. Prioritizing basic necessities will ensure that you stay healthy, and happy, throughout the season.

Getting Enough Sleep

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 American adults don’t get enough sleep. Missing out on sleep has been linked to anxiety, depression, weight gain, and high levels of cortisol.

In order to practice good sleep habits, you’ll want to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day. You’ll also want to take the distractions out of your bedroom, including your phone with all of the work notifications! You should also give yourself some screen free time before bed, as the blue light from phones and other devices can affect your circadian rhythms.

With a few changes, you’ll be able to sleep a full 7-8 hours and feel recharged for the next day!

Taking Breaks

The Mayo Clinic recommends breaks of about 15 minutes to help you rest and recharge. Instead of seeing if you can eek out a little more work, taking a break may actually boost your productivity and help you accomplish your tasks with even greater efficiency.

Taking a walk or even just unplugging from your work computer for a few minutes can help you mentally reset and get ready for the next task.

Change Your Diet

The holiday season is full of temptation with sugary treats and heavy foods. Instead of overindulging, you can put your diet to work for you by incorporating more dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains. These foods contain folic acid, which is considered a mood stabilizer and related to serotonin production. Almonds are also full of vitamins B2 and E, magnesium, and zinc, which can help with heart health and stress reduction.

Seek Out Support

Having the support of a friend is essential and has been linked to longer, happier lives. If you’re struggling with stress on the job, seek out a friend at work that can help you. Whether it’s a shared lunch or taking a break together, an ally and friend can help you make it through the stress.

Spending time with friends during Q4 can also help you alleviate stress during your off hours. Prioritize some casual time with friends so that your work and life are better balanced.

Ways to Manage Stress in the Workplace


Did you know that daylight can actually stimulate the production of serotonin? Assess your workspace to see if there is enough daylight for you to work in. If you’re sitting under fluorescent lights all day, consider taking a walk or spending a few minutes in the sun to get the daylight that you crave. Finding ways to manage your stress in the workplace could be as simple as opening the blinds.


Physical exercise on a regular basis should be a part of your habits during the holiday season as much as the rest of the year. Workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours, giving you a pleasant way to help with your on-the-job stress. This boost is caused by endorphins, which cause feelings of joy and well-being.

Fitting in a walk or a workout before work can boost your endorphins for your entire day! Exercising at least 21 minutes can help you reduce stress and anxiety, so long as it is an aerobic workout.


Citrus smells can boost feelings of well-being and increase levels of norepinephrine (a hormone associated with good moods). Mangos may even alter your blood chemistry and promote wellness, according to research. So, definitely start with some relaxing mango slices to curb stress at work!

The Hoku Spot

No, this isn’t a place to go and escape until the holiday season is over. It’s an acupuncture spot that can help relieve stress. Applying firm pressure for 30 seconds to the fleshy part between your index finger and thumb can help you reduce tension and stress in your upper body. It’s been used by traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

Listening to Music

Soothing music can relax blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow, according to research from the University of Maryland. If you pair a certain playlist with deep breathing, you can actually train your brain to relax whenever that playlist plays! A playlist can also help you tune out the hubbub of your work environment so you have better concentration.

Unusual Ways to Manage Stress in the Workplace

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Healthy habits and following your own best advice can help you manage stress in the workplace during Q4. Whether it’s spicy foods or a full night’s sleep, simple habits can help you alleviate stress.

If you take a few precautions to avoid holiday stress, you’ll enjoy the busy season and get through your workload. Remember, Q4 doesn’t last forever, so you just have to last until December 31st!

This blog post is not meant to diagnose or treat anybody. If you have persistent stress or anxiety, you should seek the help of a medical professional.

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