14Dec 2016

Stress Happens, Especially During the Holidays

How to cope with holiday stress at work

The holiday season can bring family, friends, and co-workers together. But it can also bring unwelcome guests, including stress.

Holiday Stress

Don’t let holiday stress get you down.

Workplace stress costs more than $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and workers’ compensation claims. Stress levels typically rise during the holidays from the added demands of shopping, parties, and entertaining.

Symptoms of stress include lack of sleep, focus, or interest. Additional signs are low morale, increased irritability, short temper, and loss of appetite. Long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses including headaches, stomach disorders, and depression. It can even increase the risk of a stroke and heart disease.

Here’s how you can reduce your employees’ stress around the holidays:

  • Help your team keep track of everyone’s schedules and deadlines by keeping a shared calendar.
  • Be flexible. Help employees manage their work/life balance by adjusting their schedule to take care of holiday shopping and activities.
  • Boost morale through social activities, like holiday parties.
  • Establish a workplace wellness program that includes stress management and teaches relaxation techniques.

Here are some things everyone can do to reduce workplace stress:

  • Practice meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
  • Get at least six-and-a-half hours each night (eight is preferred for most).
  • Exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Take all of your breaks, especially when feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.

If someone is exhibiting signs of depression, or are persistently sad or anxious, encourage them to talk to someone they trust or seek professional help.

Joy and laughter should be part of the holiday season; low morale, headaches, and irritability should not.

Practice these tips to help convert holiday stress into holiday cheer.

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