By Carolina Cuartas - January 15, 2018
It’s a new year and it’s a great time to focus on the betterment of you. A great way to start on a path of a more successful you is by learning how to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure. A study conducted by TalentSmart of more than one million people found that,
90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control."
Here are some strategies on how to keep calm and stay focused based on the study:
Limit Caffeine Intake
It’s no secret that too much caffeine can cause jitters. In combination with a stressful day or a heavy workload, coffee can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket. Higher blood pressure and shallow breathing can limit the amount of oxygen that flows to your brain , which makes it harder to concentrate on completing tasks.
Stand up and stretch when you feel tense. When we are stressed, the body’s fight or flight response is triggered and our body tenses up. It’s important to loosen up because it can help increase blood flow. Increasing blood flow helps muscles relax and release new blood into the brain. This can help you become more productive and increase your mood.
When you need to find calm, the easiest and quickest way to relieve stress is by becoming mindful of your breaths. Mindful breaths can help you pay attention to your surroundings and yourself, while allowing you to decompress.
Set aside five minutes each day to focus solely on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire five minutes remaining focused on your breathing and not letting your mind wander. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it's hard to do for more than a minute or two. It's all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to twenty, and then start again from one. Don't worry if you lose count; you can always just start over."
Turn off your phone and email notifications while completing important, time-sensitive tasks. Constant notifications and distraction can negatively impact your productivity. Even though responding to non-urgent emails may feel productive at the time, it only makes those larger, more important tasks longer to complete.
Make this a priority. It’s crucial to get enough sleep to help manage stress levels and increase your emotional intelligence. Your attention, memory, and self-control are all reduced, while your stress-levels are heightened.
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By Nikki Sunshine - December 11, 2017
The holiday season is a time of celebration, family, laughter, and presents. It’s easy to get caught up in all of holiday cheer and put your wellness to the side. If you are throwing an office party, you have the power to bring health and wellness to the most gluttonous time of the year. Whether you integrate fun activities or offer healthy food and beverage options, there are several ways to keep you and all of your guests from wasting an entire year of healthy habits.
Here are 5 simple tips to promote a healthful holiday season in your workplace:
Get Moving with Fun & Games
The holiday season brings people together. Most gatherings tend to be planned around eating dinner or some other meal. Bring something different to the table by planning an outing or bringing entertainment in-hou
se. Team building activities can also be an effective way to steer people away from the bar. Games like charades, cornhole and even scavenger hunts give everyone a chance to be active and burn off some calories from excessive holiday consumption.
Alcohol & Food Free Zone
Create an area where guests can socialize without distraction. People congregate around these things, so give them a chance to have some face to face interaction without the temptation of indulging.
Self-care can get lost in the commotion of the holidays. Give everyone, including yourself- a moment to relax and relieve some built up stress. Offering chair massage is a great way to show appreciation for your peers.
Offer Healthy Options
You can still allow people to bring their own dishes if you enjoy potluck style! Just a few healthy drink options for those who don’t drink alcohol and some lighter side dishes can make all the difference.
Avoid Large Plates & Cups
Have you ever heard the saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Using a large plates tricks you into serving yourself larger portions, which either end up getting wasted or causing you to overeat. Use a smaller plate and still get same effect of filling it up while eating less. Plus- you’ll have room for dessert!
We are already bombarded by advertisements from television to billboards, begging us to gorge during the holidays and forget about our health. Don’t become your own worst enemy by promoting unhealthy habits, especially in the workplace. It’s easy to encourage wellness while still celebrating the holidays by thinking outside of the box. Your mind and body will thank you!
By Carolina Cuartas - December 4, 2017
By Nikki Sunshine - November 28, 2017
The holiday season has arrived, and most industries are gearing up to satisfy the burning desires of insatiable holiday consumers. Contrary to being the most profitable time of the year, many companies actually suffer from a major lack of productivity during this time.
There are many forces working against productivity- making it that much harder to reach those end of year goals. Whether it be planning trips, taking trips, watching kids, holiday shopping or general stress due to these things and more- most companies can expect a dip in productivity between the months of October and January. Finish the year on a strong note by understanding these six insights on keeping employees motivated during the holiday season.
Work From Home Days
When appropriate, offer a couple of days where employees have the option to work from home. This will allow for employees to have a bit of extra time to get things done in preparation for the holidays. Your employees can save those extra few minutes commuting back and forth to work and for lunch and use them for things like cleaning or gift shopping.
Create a Festive Environment
It may sound trivial, but adding some personality to the office by decorating for the holidays is important. No one wants a scrooge for a boss, so show some holiday spirit and keep the joy flowing throughout the holidays. Studies show that the more engaged workers are, the more productive they are. A 2016 Gallup poll on employee engagement shows that businesses with high employee engagement see higher productivity than less engaged employees. Hold holiday themed events like Secret Santa or a potluck to keep employees excited about coming to work.
It’s been a long year, and you’ve hit the home stretch. Many workers will feel exhausted and underappreciated at this time, feeling as though they have hit a dead end. It’s important to be attentive to lackluster attitudes and offer tools to help refresh unmotivated employees. You can create a winning situation for everyone by giving your hard working team a holiday bonus. In a 700-person study performed by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick in Britain, it is undoubtedly shown that happiness in the workplace bring an increase in productivity.
A holiday bonus can come in many forms. The best thing you can do for your company is to provide employees with a holiday bonus that benefits their wellness. Instead of offering a bar tab at happy hour, take a shot at improving moods through yoga or massage therapy. Corporate chair massage is an easy way to get productivity up, and many studies suggest that yoga can lower blood pressure and anxiety. Holding small group yoga classes is a fun way to bring employees together, as well.
Maintain Open Communication
Setting and communicating realistic standards for workload and attendance is a vital step in defending the productivity of your workplace. September may even be an appropriate time to figure out what the work schedule will be for the rest of the year. If you need to have someone on call, ask for volunteers. You may be shocked to find that many people stay are staying in town for the holidays and want to make money. Use online communication tools to connect employees and get them to solidify their plans on a shared calendar. The more you can provide open communication between yourself and your employees, the less surprises there will be!
Reevaluate End Of Year Goals
October is a good time to look back on goals you have set and measure progress. Setting goals that are out of reach can negatively affect productivity. Adjust as needed, and set new goals for the end of the year, as well. This will keep things interesting and inspire that final push that’s needed at the end of the year.
It can be tough to maintain order in the season of balancing acts. Between work, family, sleep, life- typically we can’t have them all. Preserve everyone’s sanity by staying ahead of deadlines and keeping a clear, accessible schedule for yourself and everyone who needs to be informed of your whereabouts.
If you are worried about productivity this holiday season, your best bet is to embrace the holidays. The old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them” truly comes to light in this situation. It can be easy to forget that you are all on the same team. Each person’s success and happiness is a win for all. Working with employees to ensure that they remain happy and engaged is your key to success throughout the holidays.
By Nikki Sunshine - November 13, 2017
Daylight Saving Time comes around twice a year, inconveniencing people all over the world. For most people, the shorter winter days can cause more stress and fatigue. Especially if you are in an industry where your company is more busy during the holidays, this can negatively effect your productivity and well-being.
Adjust Your Sleep Cycle
The time change always happens on a Sunday morning. In the case of losing an hour in the Spring, start on Thursday night by going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal. Increase that by 30 minutes each night until you go to bed a full hour early on Saturday night. When you wake up on Sunday morning and you have lost an hour, you will still have gotten a full night’s sleep.
When it comes to gaining an hour in the Fall, reflect on how oversleeping may affect you. If you are not bothered by an extra hour of sleep, then go about your day normally as if nothing even happened. If an extra hour will throw you off, then be sure to set your alarm to wake you up an hour earlier than normal. Use that extra hour for self-care that you may not typically have time to do, like meditating, exercising or meal prepping.
Resist the Urge to Sleep In
When you lose an hour in the Spring, it may sound like a great idea to sleep in. However, if you already follow a sleep schedule, this could totally throw you off! Instead, go to sleep an hour earlier and wake up at the same time you always do- preserving your established sleep pattern.
Eliminate Caffeine and Alcohol
Toxins such as caffeine, alcohol, and even sugar in large amounts can affect the quality of your sleep. Avoid consuming these things at all on Saturday, if possible. If you must have that morning coffee, just limit your intake to mid-day so that your body has time to process these things before it’s time to wind down for bed.
Limit Screen Use
Just as toxins can inhibit sleep, so can the blue light and stimulation from mobile phone screens, computers and television screens. Keep brain stimulation to a minimum before bedtime to ensure your sleep is beneficial and not restless. Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or do something breathing and mindful meditation- but whatever you do, try not to stare at any screens. This will contribute to a restful night’s sleeping, cutting down on any negative effects from the time change.
Set a Reminder to Manually Change Clocks
Modern technology adjusts to the time change on its own. If you are used to this, it’s easy to forget to manually change any analog clocks. This can include watches, microwave or stove clocks, and the time in your car. Set yourself a reminder to change these clocks. If you forget, you will likely give yourself a slight panic attack when you get into your car and see the wrong time! We’ve all been there before.
Some can do these things and still feel sluggish and foggy from the time change. Keeping up with hydration, exercise, and healthy eating will allow your body to process this change most effectively. Many people resort to an overload of caffeine, sugar, and unhealthy foods to make themselves feel better. While you may feel better temporarily, it will likely take longer for you to adjust and get back to maximum productivity.
Keep Up with Sunlight Exposure
Sunlight is vital to the production of the hormones serotonin and melanin in your brain. According to Steven D Targum, MD and Norman Rosenthal, MD, “14 percent of the adult US population suffers from a lesser form of seasonal mood changes, known as winter blues”. This can also be called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A healthy amount of sunlight exposure will help avoid falling victim to SAD when the time changes in the Fall. This can even happen in the Spring, when you lose your morning sun.