5 Mental Health Tipps für Peak-Season
The time has come – the Christmas season has begun. While some industries postpone major projects to the next quarter, your workload is likely increasing along with your holiday spirit. For e-commerce, it's a special time of the year as December generates more sales than any other month.1The German Retail Association (HDE) predicts a total Christmas turnover of 21.2 billion euros this year, with online commerce expected to account for 17.5 percent of that.2
It's the perfect time to practice managing stressful days! Why it's crucial is also evident when looking at the global job market. According to the "State of the Global Workplace Report 2023," workplace stress is a growing problem worldwide. Nearly half of all respondents reported experiencing high stress on their past workdays. Particularly in East Asia and North America, stress levels among employees reached a record high.4In e-commerce, employees in call centers or customer support, in particular, need the highest level of concentration and a great deal of composure during the Advent season.3
Even though stress is not entirely avoidable, you can influence your reaction to it and learn to understand it better. That's where we aim to support you! Let's get started:
5 Tips for Mental Health during the Peak Season:
1. Understanding Stress Triggers:
The fact is, long and exhausting workdays happen. You likely react differently to such days than your colleagues, and that's entirely normal. Identify your so-called stressors in December and develop targeted strategies to deal with them without getting thrown off track.
Stressors are generally stimuli that disrupt your body's equilibrium. How strongly a stressor affects you depends on your coping abilities.5 Find out - What specifically stresses you out? Is it physical stressors like lack of sleep or more performance-related stressors like time pressure and competition?It's important to gain awareness of your stress triggers. You won't be able to eradicate them, but you can jot them down and define a first-aid measure for each stressor, such as "Ask for support" or "Practice self-compassion."
2. Strengthening Team Cohesion:
The Christmas business requires closer teamwork for many teams. Open communication about expectations, challenges, and solutions is crucial during this time, as is the efficient distribution of extra work.
Team success is often measured by performance, yet mental health is an equally important factor that every team member can promote! This includes soft skills like listening, empathy, and the ability to support colleagues during challenging times.
Don't forget, even if things get hectic around Christmas: Create space for social interaction! If your Christmas party is remote, actively seek ways to connect with your colleagues towards the end of the year. How about conducting a team retrospective? Here are some guiding questions:
- What should we stop doing immediately? For example, "Taking on too many projects at once.
- What should we definitely continue doing? For example, "Utilizing customer feedback for improvements."
- What can we collectively improve? For example, "Documenting website changes."
If it gets more personal, have your colleagues take the 16 Personalities test. See which personality types are present in your team and what each person needs to feel comfortable.
3. Incorporating Mindfulness Practices into Work:
Mindfulness exercises can help destress your workday. They calm your mind, bring back focus, and allow you to take a break anytime, anywhere. The best part? You can practice mindfulness in every moment; all you need is your breath and attention.
Breathing exercise for stress reduction
By focusing on conscious breathing, you trigger a relaxation response in your body. If you'd like to try it out, sit upright and take ten long, conscious breaths. Ensure your feet are firmly on the ground and your shoulders are relaxed. It's important not to have any expectations or demands on yourself. You'll have thoughts, impatience, or might even drift away – all of this is entirely normal. Simply return to your breath when you notice that happening. Exhale longer than you inhale. This not only relaxes your body but also provides it with the optimal amount of oxygen!6
4. Self-care and Rewards:
Studies show that self-care and self-rewarding are crucial elements in stress management.7 With rewards, you're not just celebrating your achievements; you're also building your own motivation. If you're unsure where to start, here are a few tips:
- Set small milestones: Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Each completed milestone is a good reason to pat yourself on the back.
- Relaxing rewards: Purposefully schedule time for relaxing rewards after completing a major task! It could be an extra break, a coffee, music, or even a short walk.
5. Promoting Flexible Work Models and Remote Work:
Does your company not yet enable flexible work models or remote work? Now's a great opportunity to discuss the many advantages and bring more flexibility into your work routine in 2024.
According to a survey, the possibility to work from home increases employee satisfaction by up to 20 percent.8 Moreover, employees with flexible work options have a lower risk of poor mental health.9 Not convinced yet? Share with your supervisor the results of a survey among full-time employees in the US. It concluded that remote workers accomplish more work than their office counterparts.10
It's important to note that flexibility doesn't mean extra work! Clear guidelines should be set for all remote employees regarding accessibility via smartphones, Slack, and email to ensure that flexibility doesn't turn into added pressure. A balanced work-life balance is crucial for employees' mental health and for the success of flexible work models.
It's clear that your mental health matters not only during the peak season of online shopping but throughout the year! Measures to support well-being should be part of every company's culture as they contribute to teams staying resilient even during stressful times.