This past year has taken a huge toll on our physical, mental and emotional reserves, leaving many of us too exhausted to figure out how to make things better. A new blog posting from Eblin Group offers some simple, practical steps for dealing with exhaustion.

  • Start by admitting to yourself that you’re exhausted. Putting your head down and grinding on is not a long-term strategy for success. When you’re feeling exhausted, you need to step back and assess—for example, through journaling.
  • Examine your to-do list. Go through your to-do list and calendar for items and events that could be postponed, dropped or cancelled. Ask yourself: Is this a nice-to-do or must-be-done?
  • Change up your input. Giving your brain fresh input—maybe by reading a new book or listening to a podcast—will help change the way you think and even how you do things.
  • Do things that bring you joy. Start a new hobby. Go for a walk in nature. Bake some cookies. Binge a series on NetFlix or Hulu.

Source: “What to Do When You’re Feeling Exhausted,” Eblin Group, Dec. 8, 2020

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Taking breaks is necessary to help us decompress so we can maintain our productivity and better manage stress. But there’s a right way to take breaks, says a new article from Fast Company.

Schedule your breaks. Putting a break on your calendar gives you something to look forward to and may keep you from taking mini-breaks to check the news or social media. Try to carve out 20-30 minutes of break time each day—and stick to it.

What you do on your break is important. Try taking a walk outside or watching something entertaining. Don’t just switch to another work-related activity. Also try to avoid exposing yourself to obligations or tasks you can’t resolve during the break, since this will just create mental drag. And definitely avoid looking at email during your break—don’t even glance at your Inbox before you leave your desk.

Source: “This is the exact type of break you should be taking when working from home,” Fast Company, Dec. 7, 2020

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Workers have been under immense stress in 2020, with many trying to balance working from home while taking care of their families, helping children through home schooling, and worrying about the pandemic and whether their jobs are secure.

How can companies help? Here are some strategies Gallup learned from talking with more than 200 Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) from some of the world’s largest organizations.

  • Expand Employee Assistance Program offerings. CHROs advise increasing access to medical services, legal services and counseling/therapy sessions covered by EAP, as well as adding virtual sessions.
  • Identify high-risk groups. Regular pulse surveys can help to identify teams, departments or locations that are seeing increased levels of stress, anxiety or burnout, allowing leaders to target interventions where they are most needed. In addition, pulse surveys can be designed to communicate personalized benefits information in an anonymous and timely manner.
  • Let employees act as well-being advocates. Some employees may be able to lead virtual yoga or mindfulness sessions. Others may want to form groups on internal social platforms, such as Facebook Workplace or Microsoft Teams, to share parenting tips or offer social support. Volunteers can also be trained to connect other employees with local community resources.
  • Upskill managers. Offer managers training in empathy and communication; give them access to conversation guides related to mental health; add “well-being check-ins” to quarterly reviews or other formal meetings.
  • Set new expectations. Juggling work and home life can get complicated right now. Let employees know that it’s OK to go off-screen during a meeting and that seeing children on a video call is not a business faux pas.

Source: “Employee Wellbeing & Mental Health: 5 Strategies From Top CHROs,” Gallup.com, Dec. 8, 2020