Surviving the holidays as a retail manager: tips for maintaining your mental health

April 24, 2024
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The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration for many, but it can also be a stressful and overwhelming time for retail managers. Managing a busy store during the holiday season involves long hours, hard work, and a lot of responsibility, and it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As a retail manager, you are responsible for ensuring that your store is well-stocked and well-organized, which can be a daunting task when there are so many people shopping at once. The increased demand for products and services during the holiday season can lead to long lines, crowded aisles, and impatient customers, which can be challenging to manage.

In addition to dealing with the increased demand, retail managers must also manage their staff, which can be particularly challenging during the holiday season. Many stores hire temporary employees to help with the increased demand, and it can be difficult to effectively manage a team that may not be as familiar with store policies and procedures. Retail managers must also ensure that their staff is well-trained and able to handle the increased customer volume, which can be a daunting task.

The holiday season can also be a challenging time for retail managers when it comes to their own mental health. The long hours and increased workload can take a toll on anyone, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that high levels of work-related stress can lead to decreased job satisfaction and increased absenteeism (Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2003). Retail managers must be sure to take care of themselves and prioritize their own wellbeing in order to effectively manage their store and their staff.

It's important to remember that you are not alone in feeling the stress and challenges of the holiday season. Many retail managers and employees experience similar feelings, and it's okay to ask for help when you need it. Here are a few tips for retail managers to help them manage the challenges of the holiday season:

Set boundaries: It's important to make sure you have time for yourself and your loved ones during the holiday season. Make sure to set boundaries with your work schedule so that you have time to rest and recharge. It's okay to say no to extra hours or tasks if you feel like you are taking on too much.

Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to rest and relax. Even a few minutes of quiet time can help you recharge and refocus. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks can improve productivity and reduce feelings of stress (Smith, 2019).

Stay organized: Make a list of tasks and prioritize them to stay on top of everything that needs to be done. This will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Seek support: If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to a friend or colleague for support. It's important to have a supportive network to help you through the holiday season. You can also consider seeking the help of a mental health professional if you are feeling particularly overwhelmed.

The holiday season can be a challenging time for retail managers, but it can also be a rewarding experience. By taking care of yourself and your staff, you can help make the holiday season a success for everyone. Remember to be kind to yourself and don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.


Bakker, A., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. (2003). Job demands and job resources as predictors of absence duration and frequency


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