Three Alternative Ways to Safely Celebrate the Holidays

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With COVID-19, this year being like no other, employers and employees are looking forward to unwinding during the holidays. While navigating the “new normal,” you may wonder how to enjoy the season in a safe, responsible manner. Here are some healthy activities to promote in your workplace so your employees enjoy holiday festivities while maintaining the health and safety standards promoted by the CDC.

1.      Explore the Great Outdoors

All is not lost when we still have the great outdoors. A low exposure activity, going on a road trip to a national park, hiking a favorite trail, or camping somewhere new are activities that get you out of the house but remain socially safe. With an outdoor activity, you can safely bring along a buddy while maintaining proper physical distancing protocol. Outdoor activities, such as hiking have been suggested to not only promote physical health but also mindfulness and stress release.[1]

2.      Invest in Health and Wellness

The most common New Year’s resolution amongst Americans is to lose weight and exercise more often.[2] But why wait until 2021 to start building healthy habits for life? Exercise is proven to improve circulation and cardiovascular performance, thus increasing energy levels and productivity. Jumpstart health and wellness goals by investing in home gym equipment raffles, establishing a company workout time, or promote meal planning in the office.

Another great way to get in shape and decompress is yoga.[3] Unwinding body and mind with some calming practices like yoga and meditation. Studies have shown that yoga helps relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and promote better self-image, which provide for some much-needed benefits after such a stressful year. Your company can look into developing set reminders for your employees to take time and destress during their hours in and out of the office.

3.      Connect Virtually with Loved Ones

Physical distancing doesn’t mean the end of socialization. Whether it be for the holidays or a recurring event, you can communicate and have fun with your friends and coworkers. There are several apps and software geared towards bringing everyone together. Software like Microsoft Teams and Discord are designed to keep people connected. Send reminders to your team to schedule a virtual happy hour, plan a weekly game night, or just check in on a group call to see how everyone is doing. Now more than ever we can use a warm welcome or a loud laugh to help us feel at ease.

These suggestions are geared toward helping employees decrease stress, improve productivity, and maintain their health and safety during this unique holiday season. While there is no federal mandate regarding regulations around COVID-19 safety and prevention in the workplace, there is still a part for all of us to play. For assistance in keeping up with other state and federal matters of HR, risk management, and compliance, allow Human Capital to guide you through the waters of risk management, OSHA regulations, and healthcare benefits.

 

 

[1] Greater Good Magazine

[2] U.S. Department of Homeland Security

[3] Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publishing

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