Tips for a Happy Holiday Season from Human Resources

HUMAN RESOURCES | The HR Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. We recognize that this time of year can be stressful for some people. In the spirit of the season, here are some tips from HR Wellness on reducing holiday stress and getting 2019 off to a great start:

  • Avoid multitasking. A study found that the more a person engages in media multitasking, the higher their anxiety and depression levels tended to be. On the other hand, research shows that if we are more in tune with what we are doing, we more fully enjoy the activity. You become highly productive and enter a state of flow when you focus on one task at hand. For example, when you are running around shopping, try to be in the moment and think of the person(s) you are shopping for, take in the sights and the smells around you, try to even walk slower because as your mind clears and slows down, it will help you make those shopping decisions quicker and faster.
  • Take a technology fast. Spend a half day, or whole day, on a technology fast. Modern technology is affecting our sleep: The artificial light from TV and computer screens affects melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep, restorative sleep. To avoid getting sick this holiday, sleep more. Try to shut down your technology at least two hours before bed.
  • Try meditation. There are many forms of meditation; find one that is right for you – yoga, yoga-based breathing, tai chi, walking quietly in nature, guided meditations, etc. Find the activity that allows you to settle your mind, your thoughts, emotions and desires, so that you can be grounded in the present. Take your own mind/body holiday challenge: between Dec. 1 – Dec. 25, spend at least 10 minutes focusing on your breathing before getting ready for the day. Challenge your friends to compete with you, with a reward going to the person with the most “days of breath” winning a holiday treat.
  • Be bullish about “me time.” Schedule daily “me time” and do not budge for anyone or anything. You want to prioritize stuff that truly brings you joy. The small acts of self-care can make investing in your own well-being a matter of habit. When you know you are putting the “oxygen mask on you first,” you are better able to serve and care for others this holiday season.
  • Think happy thoughts. On those days when you barely have time to breathe, recall something that made you happy. A Michigan State University study found that bus drivers who smiled about a positive event were in more upbeat moods than the workers who faked a smile. Science suggests that a full, genuine grin – one that involves facial muscles around the eyes – sparks a change in brain activity related to a good mood. Take the opportunity when waiting in shopping lines, or stuck in holiday traffic, to get lost in a fond memory, and smile like no one is watching.

2018 Flexible Spending Account Deadline Approaching

For Flexible Spending Account participants (Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018), Dec. 31, 2018, is the last day you can incur claims in your Health Care Account and/or Dependent Care Account for the current plan year. March 31, 2019, is the last day you can submit claims for reimbursement.

WageWorks Health Care and Dependent Care reimbursement forms are available at or you may submit via the mobile app. If you have any questions, contact WageWorks at 877.924.3967 or Human Resources at 310.338.2723.