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Recently, we introduced our Year-End Survival KITs (KIT stands for Keep It Together) to small business owners (CA | US) and the accountants and bookkeepers (CA | US) who support them — but despite all the preparing you can do, we all still experience tough days from time to time. Even if you’re a member of the world’s friendliest payroll team. ‘Tis the season of short, cold days and year-end reporting, right?

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” So we tapped into the minds of a few Wagepointers for strategies they use to keep it together during this time of year. These are tips you can apply and share with your employees for a smoother payroll year-end.

1. Snuggle your way into happiness.

“When I’m feeling stressed, I get cozy! This is the perfect time of year to play some nostalgic holiday tunes, get wrapped up in a warm blanket and enjoy a good book (or marketing brief, when I’m working) with a hot cup of tea. Also, never underestimate the power of the ‘fireplace channel’. I can feel my stress wrinkles disappear a little more with each little cozy crackle.”

— Kasia Wind, Marketing Manager – Brand, Content and Communications

2. Mother knows best… Mother Nature, that is.

“Go outside and take a hike, regardless of the weather. Just disconnect and go.”

— Alex Yohn, Chief Technology Officer (aka Mr. Fix-It)

3. Treat yo’ self.

“I treat myself to dessert! I think a good form of self-care is treating yourself with the generosity you might treat a friend or partner going through a hard time.”

— Syrah Brenneman, Technical Support Engineer (aka Tier 2 Magician)

“Do something just for you. Self-care can be difficult when there’s so much to be done, but I know for me it’s important to take time to do things I enjoy. When I only focus on getting work done and deadlines, it’s a fast track to burning out. Even if the burnout happens after everything is done, it’s not good to deal with and it can take a lot of time to get back to productivity. The balance of work and things I enjoy is crucial.”

— Laura A. Barton, Content Specialist

 Here are 5 things you can do right now to improve your mental health.

4. Take a break, take a KIT Kat.

“Spread your day out a bit more. The days are shorter, darker, colder and wetter, yet the hours are still long. I like to take an extra break or extended lunch in my routine so I can refresh, get moving, do something for myself, spend time with the dependants (furry and human). Then I make up the time a bit later. I find I’m way more productive breaking my day up a bit this time of year.

And just eat the food… all of the food! In moderation, of course. This time of year is stressful enough!”

— Bianca Mueller, CPB, Community Manager

5. KISS your stress goodbye.

KISS isn’t just a rock band from the ‘80s. It also stands for “Keep it simple, silly” (you might’ve heard of another variation) — a key design principle, and a great rule of thumb when tackling complex tasks.

“When things are often complicated or convoluted, especially in Risk, it helps to break problems down to their simplest forms. 2/5 is more simple and more digestible than saying 12/30 — this way of thinking helps with finding a solution and making the problem less daunting.”

— John Hajek, Risk Team Lead

6. Get by with a little help from your friends.

Wagepoint is 100% remote but we still like to hang every once in a while!

“When dealing with multiple tasks, it helps to write them down and identify which ones are of the utmost importance, which ones need to be done solo, and which ones can be done in collaboration with someone else. We tend to tackle issues (personal and work-related) from a ‘lonely’ lens, which immediately stresses us out and makes us think that the solution to such a problem is by handling it alone. Figuring out which tasks can be done with someone is a way for me to alleviate that stress.”

— Nadine El-Khoja, Risk Manager

“Save yourself from getting overwhelmed by raising your hand and asking for help from your friends and teammates.”

— Jonathan Chapman, Sales Specialist

7. Clear mind, clear priorities.

I always try to remember which tasks and deadlines are artificial and self-imposed and which are legitimate and others are waiting on me to complete. It’s my trick for prioritizing and therefore eliminating stress.

I also try to get just one big task out of the way every day and for the rest, I move 1%. All of this contributes to a clear mind after work which means I can get actual rest for my brain.”

– Shrad Rao, CEO (and Resident Wisecracker)

8. Know when to walk away.

“It helps to walk away from the problem for a bit, mentally and physically. I find that giving myself some time to marinate and come back to a problem helps. Especially in Risk, it’s never good to make decisions under pressure as that is when you’re most likely to make mistakes.”

— John Hajek, Risk Team Lead

9. Be mindful, not mind full.

Power Tool: Mind FULL vs. Mindful

“I do a daily meditation breathing exercise in the morning and evening. Morning, to be present for the day’s events and to open and expand my spiritual awareness and energetic blocks. Evening, to de-stress from the day and to reconnect and restore myself.”

— Ree Dillon, Lead Onboarding Specialist

“Quiet the overthinking and overachieving part of your brain by participating in an activity outside of work that requires your full attention. For me, it’s hot yoga. For others, it could mean reading a good book, doing tarot readings or cleaning.”

— Tory Pearson, People Operations Specialist

10. Get your daily dose of vitamin D.

“Walk in the morning instead of the afternoon! Less sun in the winter means lower vitamin D levels for those of us in the northern hemisphere — a big part of keeping our immune system strong. Plus, seeing the natural sun in the morning actually sets us up for a night of better sleep by keeping our natural melatonin levels on track.”

— Fallon Collett, Employee Experience Specialist

 More on how to stay mentally healthy during busy season.

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The advice we share on our blog and in our webinars is intended to be informational. It does not replace the expertise of working with accredited business professionals.