opinion

How to Stress Less in the New Year

How to Stress Less in the New Year

Cheers to the new year, 2019 has arrived. While it’s a call to celebrate, it can also bring on the blues. The industry’s busy business blitz from Thanksgiving to the year’s end has eased and now it’s time to face how we’re going to top our successes from last year.

If you’re like me, it feels like I’m starting over and I wonder, can I do it again? Can we meet our new goals?

Regular one-on-one meetings between employees and their direct supervisors are a great way to offer support and establish clear expectations throughout the year.

Studies show as many as 25 percent of Americans suffer from low-grade to full-blown depression after the holidays and two-thirds of all workers feel stressed after returning to work. Stress can manifest itself both physically and emotionally in ways like tiredness, anxiety, headaches, sadness and muscle tension.

How do you move out from under that cloud and refocus? I wanted to share some tips on how we at Segpay pivot out of holiday mode and back into the driver’s seat on the road to a new year of success.

One of the key sources of stress at work is uncertainty. When you are back in the office and faced with your 2019 goals and new expectations, there is uncertainty about what the new year will bring. Communication is the most effective way to address uncertainty while building confidence and easing worry.

When you clearly map out expectations, employees can be more focused. Regular one-on-one meetings between employees and their direct supervisors are a great way to offer support and establish clear expectations throughout the year, but it can be particularly helpful to have them right after New Year’s Day.

This provides a chance to ask employees what the organization can do to support them in accomplishing their goals for the upcoming year, and ask what obstacles they foresee preventing them from success, so you can address them as early as possible.

Time management and prioritization can make a difference in easing the overwhelming feeling of, “How am I going to get it all done?” It starts from the CEO on down.

Continuing on the subject of uncertainty, the organization as a whole should communicate as much as possible. Hosting quarterly “all hands” meetings allows management to share company results, company news and take questions from the staff, creating an environment of certainty and clarity where everyone feels included.

Again, don’t wait to have that meeting. The sooner you focus together, the sooner you can ensure the entire company is headed in the right direction.

Senior leaders can further lessen the pressure by fostering a family environment where the staff has each other’s backs. Little things, such as celebrations — for birthdays and to welcome new team members — promotes a positive work environment. It’s important to create an atmosphere that encourages and promotes a good work-life balance.

One thing that creates stress in the new year is the “crash” back down to Earth from the partying of the holiday season to the seriousness of the workplace and the reality of 2019 goals.

Well, in this industry we are lucky to be able to kick off the new year with big trade shows like XBIZ 2019 in Los Angeles, keeping the party going while transitioning back to business with our colleagues in the industry, cushioning the blow, so to speak, of coming down from the holidays. Segpay is a proud sponsor of the show, and we look forward to making new contacts, reuniting with existing friends and continuing the momentum as we ease into 2019.

It took only three years for Cathy Beardsley to turn startup Segpay into a profitable company. As president and CEO, Beardsley oversees the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning for the company. Segpay is one of four companies approved by Visa to operate as a high-risk internet payment service provider in the U.S. Since 2005, Segpay has offered online merchants a state-of-the-art billing platform that provides realtime payment processing around the globe.

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