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How to manage workplace stress during the holidays

Keeping your spirit bright and productivity up at work during the festive season can sometimes be a challenge. Vacation days are used up, end-of-year deadlines loom and personal responsibilities pile up.

Mental wellness is always a focus in Co-operators offices across the country. From our employees to you, here are 7 easy ways to reduce workplace stress, and stay happy and healthy during the holiday season.

  1. Maintain a shared calendar. “Although it feels a bit quieter around our office during the holidays, work still needs to get done. Our team posts a shared vacation schedule to ensure everyone has backup support when away, so we can truly relax.”

  2. Reflect on progress and prioritize. “Each December, I stop and consider what I’ve achieved, and what’s up next. Don’t try to get to the bottom of your to-do list – it’s always growing and will still be there in January. Not everything is as urgent as it seems. Decide what’s needed now and what can wait.”

  3. Keep gifting simple. “Gift giving can get out of hand during the holidays. Rather than fuss over baking/buying/making a little something for every colleague (or feeling guilty when they give you something and you didn’t reciprocate!), set up a Secret Santa gift exchange. Online tools like Elfster or Secret Santa Organizer make it easy.”

  4. Weather the storm. “Try not to drive in unsafe winter conditions. Our team discusses work-from-home options with our manager before bad weather shows up, to avoid a long and stressful commute.”

  5. Give back. “Our office organizes an annual holiday fundraising campaign with proceeds benefiting local folks in need. Yes, it’s a bit of extra work, but knowing I’ve helped people in our community puts everything in perspective. It keeps me grounded.”

  6. Spread some compassion. “I’ve learned that the holiday season isn’t always the most wonderful time of year for everyone. If someone’s on edge, don’t take it personally. The more understanding you can be during the holidays, the less stressed you and those around you will be.”

  7. Stay present. “I try to focus on the moment. Of course there are many distractions during the holidays, but by being truly engaged I’m more energized to accomplish tasks and am better able to enjoy the season of giving.”

Happy holidays!

Read more about what The Co-operators is doing to encourage mental health year-round, plus other initiatives like distracted driving and flood safety that will help build a better world.