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Holiday stress is no humbug

Increased workloads, financial worries, and other distractions can raise your risk of getting sick or hurt. Find strategies for managing workplace stress now and throughout the year.

posted December 09, 2016

Holiday stress is no humbug

70% of employees feel more stressed during the holidays.

Even if you don't have a Scrooge for a boss, you may be feeling more stressed out than usual this holiday season.

Long hours, tight deadlines, and staffing shortages combined with shopping lists, social obligations, and looming credit card bills leave many people feeling less than jolly this time of year. Chronic stress also increases your risk of getting sick or hurt.

If you and your employees are feeling the strain of holiday stress, here are some strategies that can help.

What you can do

64% are more distracted.

Take a breather. A few slow, deep, calming breaths can help you relax and refocus. Mindfulness and meditation also may reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure.

Minimize distractions. Constant interruptions can make you more tense and less productive. Forward phone calls, silence texts, or put email on hold for a few hours so you can concentrate on getting work done.

Get moving. A brisk walk in the fresh air or stretching break at your workstation can help clear your mind. Exercise also boosts your mood and helps banish stress hormones.

Build your defenses. Healthy foods, exercise, and adequate rest can boost your immunity and supply the stamina you need to stay strong during stressful times.

66% use work time for shopping, errands, and other holiday tasks.

How employers can help

Communicate clearly. Define workers' roles and responsibilities, and make sure workloads match available resources and abilities.

Promote empowerment. Offer opportunities for employees to participate in job-related decisions, including flexible schedules when feasible that let them balance work and family life.

Support healthy habits. Provide time and space for exercise breaks, social interaction, and onsite access to nutritious foods and beverages. Conduct regular safety trainings and hold everyone accountable.

As a result, work quality drops by roughly 30%.Provide purpose. Individuals experience stress differently. However, many report feeling less stressed when they are engaged in work that is meaningful, stimulating, and offers opportunities for advancement.

Learn more about how to manage workplace stress at saif.com/safetyandhealth.

Source: Virgin Pulse survey