11 Tips to Fend Off Holiday Stress

The holidays are a time for family and cheer, but making sure the house is clean, the food is ready, and the presents are wrapped and ready to be opened can be overwhelming. These factors can bring unwanted stress and depression in a time meant for happiness.

Some important, practical tips can help minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. These tips may even help you enjoy the holidays more than expected.

Through the endless parties, cooking, shopping and cleaning, try taking one of 9 steps to ensure you have a stress-free holiday:

  1. Plan ahead.

Between co-workers, friends and family, it’s inevitable that some commitments will end up on the same day. Make sure to plan on what you can attend in person or virtually. If you’re hosting the holidays, create a menu to help you stay organized and make grocery shopping easier.

  1. Say no.

With holiday commitments, it is OK to say no to a few or all of them. It also will help relieve some stress. Try sharing your to-do list with other family members.

  1. Plan spending.

The holidays mean spending money. Make a budget and stick to it. Spending money on your loved ones is important, but it’s also important to pay your energy bill. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll be paying off for the rest of the year.

  1. Create relaxing surroundings.

Turn on some music, light some candles or open the windows on a sunny day. Research has found that listening to music and the scent of citrus can boost feelings of well-being, and vitamin D is always a happiness booster.

  1. Maintain healthy habits.

The holidays are notorious for ruining healthy habits. A short workout each morning will help your decision-making throughout the day. Encourage your family to try snow shoeing or sledding to get in extra exercise. Eat healthy snacks like fresh fruit or vegetables throughout the season and to fill up before a dinner party or celebration with tempting, but unhealthy, foods.

  1. Share feelings.

Spending a holiday after a loss in the family can be difficult. Accept your feelings and open up about them to others. It may make you feel better to share. Try to switch up old traditions to ease the loss.

  1. Respect differences.

Family members will have different viewpoints than your own. Try your best to forgive and forget this holiday season. Focus on your similarities and replace tension with something productive.

  1. Be realistic.

You are only one person, and you can only do so much. Be realistic with how much you can handle this season. Forget about perfection, and relax and enjoy the company surrounding you.

  1. Respond with Kindness

You can’t change how others act during the stresses of the holiday season, but you can change how you respond to situations as we are in charge of our ourselves including how we respond.  Keep in mind that the holidays are especially difficult for those who are alone. See if you can extend an act of kindness to those you know are without family and friends during this time of year.  If things get tense, take a few deep breaths.  Just taking a few breaths can shift things and give you a different/new perspective.

  1. Take a break.

Don’t forget about your own needs. Take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or watch a funny movie. Laughing relaxes the whole body, and can relieve physical tension and stress.

  1. Rethink Your Resolutions.

Typical News Year’s resolutions can set you up for failure.  Here are some tips for success:

  • Start small. Break your goal into tinier steps over the course of the year. If weight loss is your goal, it doesn’t have to be drastic. Try to eat more veggies during your first month and gradually cut back on sweets throughout the year.
  • Be kind to yourself. If you didn’t achieve last year’s resolution or stray from the path this time around, let it go. “We often contrive these stories (‘I’m never going to quit smoking!’) that only add to our distress.”  “With practice, we can notice this self-critic, let go of that negativity and pick our goals back up without the guilt or shame.”

Holidays are meant to be a fun, enjoyable time with friends and family. These tips can help ensure you truly enjoy your holidays when stress starts to set in.

References: Mayo Clinic & Hopkins Medicine

10 Expectations Employers Have for Employees!

10 Expectations Employers Have for Employees! 

Employers often expect their employees to be respectful, hardworking and a team player. Employer expectations can have several benefits, like keeping employees focused and motivated to stay on task. Familiarizing yourself with some of these expectations can help prepare you for a new role or help you advance with your current company.  Read on to find out more!

What are employer expectations?

Employer expectations of employees refer to what employers want to see or hear from their employees while they are working besides getting their jobs done. These expectations may change depending on the profession, though many employers expect their employees to be motivated, drive, collaboration skills and respect for themselves and others. Meeting and exceeding employer expectations can lead to career advancement, so it’s important that employees are aware of their employer’s expectations.

Here is a list of expectations employers may have for their employees:

  1. Have a positive attitude

Employers may want their employees to have a positive attitude that extends to coworkers and makes the workplace have a cheerful atmosphere. Having a workplace that is happy can lead to improved employee morale, which can provide a better experience for everyone. To keep a positive attitude at work, try to focus on the parts of your job that you enjoy, push yourself to get more accomplished and surround yourself with positive colleagues, if you can.

  1. Dress properly

It’s important for employees to dress appropriately for the work environment they are in because clothing can help to present a professional image of the company to customers and other members of the public. Many companies have dress codes listed in their employee handbook that can guide you on what you can wear while on the job. 

This is also relevant to any type of work as if you are doing light industrial work you will want to ensure the safety of yourself around moving parts or surfaces, etc. you are working with.  You will need to refer to employee handbook or ask supervisor.

  1. Be punctual

A great way to show your motivation and professionalism is to be punctual for your job. Being punctual can show your commitment to planning and overall respect for your employer’s requirements. Punctuality can also help you advance in your career because your employer may see you as organized and reliable.

Here are a few things you can do to be consistently punctual:

  • Get your clothes ready the night before
  • Set several alarms to help you wake up
  • Give yourself a lot of time to get ready
  • Limit distractions like cell phones or televisions
  1. Be dependable

Employers want to trust that their employees are working efficiently and that they can depend on their employees to produce their best work. For example, if an employer assigns you a project that is due tomorrow, they know they can depend on you to finish the project quickly without lowering the quality. You can be dependable for your company by staying organized and being consistent in your work, which shows employers they can trust you to do your job.

  1. Help others

Employers value leadership skills in employees, and one way to show leadership skills is by helping your colleagues. You may offer to help colleagues by assisting them with projects, answering questions they may have or lowering their workload by taking on some of their work. By assisting your colleagues, you can also establish connections and build relationships that can help contribute to a friendly environment.

  1. Desire to grow

Employers may try to help their employees develop their skills, so they expect employees to have a desire to grow and an eagerness to build their skills. Employers may expect their employees to have a high growth potential that they can develop while working.

  1. Communicate effectively

Employers may expect their employees to communicate their needs, ideas, and opinions effectively. It’s important for employees to express their thoughts to others constructively, which requires verbal and written communication skills. A good way to provide clear communication at work is by providing context to your thought, then explaining thoroughly what your idea means.

  1. Meet deadlines

Employers typically require their employees to meet their deadlines consistently. Meeting deadlines can help a company reach its goals, maintain organization and deliver its services more efficiently. It’s necessary for employees to meet their deadlines so the company can stay on schedule and keep its clients satisfied. To better meet deadlines, prioritize projects by the due dates, plan enough time to finish each task and organize deadlines in a calendar or planner.

  1. Be self-motivated

Employers value employees who are self-motivated and have an inherent drive to finish their work and to do their work well. Employees who are self-motivated can finish a project on their own without being closely managed. You can work on being self-motivated by focusing on one project at a time and writing a list of steps that can help you finish your work independently.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

Employers understand their employees make mistakes from time to time. Instead of being discouraged by your mistakes, employers often encourage you to use your mistakes as a learning experience. To better learn from your mistakes, remember what caused the mistake in the first place to avoid that error in the future.

Tips to meet an employer’s expectations:

Work hard

An important quality for an employee to have is that they consistently work hard to perform their best. Employers can see you are working to the best of your ability, and they can assist you as you develop within your role. When you give your best effort, your employer can better recognize the value that you bring to the workplace and see your commitment to the organization.

Collaborate with colleagues

Employers encourage teamwork among their employees, which can help build trust and positivity in the workplace. Collaborating with your colleagues shows employers you have communication and teamwork skills, which may assist in career advancement to a managerial role.

Ask questions

Asking questions is a great way to better understand your employer’s expectations. Sometimes, employers may have expectations you are unfamiliar with, so asking questions can help you get rid of any confusion and provide clear expectations. Asking questions can also show employers you are proactive, curious, and willing to learn.

(Sourced from Indeed Articles)