Wednesday, 12th August 2020

This Month's Magazine
Have you had your office party yet?

Have you had your office party yet?

This is the most stressful time of year.

As the recruitment industry continues to feel the pinch, office parties understandably slide further down the financial agenda, with greater concern being on covering crucial costs like wage bills and office rental. It of no surprise therefore that employers are deciding to cut down on the more ‘frivolous’ workplace expenses like office parties.

More than half admit a downgrading to Cava and 70% admit their party moving from a posh venue to the office or to a more modest venue and while canapés are being replaced by supermarket nibbles, most companies are excluding partners from the office festivities.

Regrettably these facts are adding to the usual stress factor caused by Christmas and New Year. Physiologically it is the same kind of stress that we have about any problem that we perceive to be greater than our resources to handle it. With the months of January and February, come the lowest points of depression for a lot of people and this starts with the build up to the Christmas holidays, the office parties and when feelings and emotions that might have been denied or ignored over the past year, can suddenly begin to appear. It ends with having to face the financial reality of costs incurred.

You can tell the holidays are approaching, not only by the music and the decorations on our streets and in our shopping centres, but by the frustration and anxiety in the air. As the build up to Christmas starts earlier each year, this is when the first thing you should do is to take the bull by the horns and plan what you are going to do and with whom.

Loneliness and isolation are two of the key issues around Christmas. That’s where the post-Christmas pain continues,” said Harry McNeil, a counsellor from Serenity Renewal for Families, in Canada. “Sometimes there is a relief, because Christmas is over, so things can get back to normal. But for some, the isolation and depression becomes overwhelming”. At Christmas, they visit their families still looking for approval,  and when it doesn’t happen, it leads to more stress.

For most adults, the holiday season comes up fast and passes quickly, so the most important thing to remember is to have fun. It doesn’t   have to be perfect or expensive. If you’re having a family gathering and you know that some people don’t see eye to eye, be realistic and  minimize conflict. You can only be happy in real time, right here, try not to put pressure on yourself to keep everyone happy. The season of
goodwill is for everyone and that includes you!


Perhaps the best tips ones can give are:

  1. Avoid the stress and exhaustion of holiday shopping by ordering your gifts from catalogues, internet and TV shopping channels.
  2. When everyone is coming to your house for dinner, ask each one to bring one or two dishes, leaving yourself only one or two simple items to prepare.
  3. If you are going out of town to visit relatives for the holidays, consider staying at a hotel for at least part of the time. Having a separate haven will reduce your stress by giving you a sense of control over your own space and activities for at least a portion of
    each day.
  4. If the demands of your extended family are more than you can handle each year, consider making an annual holiday a new family
    tradition. This can be a special bonding time for you and your immediate family, with no cooking and smaller gifts as a bonus.
  5. With the festivities over, it’s time to start thinking about all the spending done in the run up to Christmas. Having had the fun,
    it is time to deal with the distinctly not-fun effect of the debt, an issue which needs to be addressed quite soon, especially credit
    cards debts:                          
    • List the bills that took a backseat to
    • Do an honest appraisal of what you have
      to what you need to cover.
    • Work out a plan to pay extra on the
      credit card to get rid of what you racked up
      over the holidays.
    • Try to avoid more debt in 2011
      Merry Xmas & Happy New Year;
      remember have lots of fun!

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