Don't Panic! How To Reduce Holiday Stress

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Basic tips on reducing workplace stress during the holidays. Practical ideas as well as information on purchasing PANIC buttons.

Feeling stressed from the holidays? Co-workers getting on your nerves? Wondering how you’ll pay for those holiday gifts? Silvana Clark, a professional speaker on the topic of humor in the workplace, says, “People try to balance the social events of the holidays, along with buying gifts and keeping up on work duties. No wonder they feel extra stress during December.”

Clark, who travels across the US and overseas presenting keynotes and workshops offers some other tips on reducing workplace stress:

  •     Take time to ask employees what would make them more productive at work. Many employees are never given the chance to voice their opinions. Stress is reduced when management spends time listening to employees.
  •     Use creativity to break the monotony of everyday workplace routines. Try a stand-up meeting where everyone remains standing during the staff meeting. Celebrate nontraditional holidays such as Ugly Tie Day or Clean off Your Desk Day.
  •     Let staff know they are appreciated. Write personalized thank you notes and attach to paychecks. Give out awards such as the “Good and Plenty Award” for a person who always has lots of good ideas…along with a Good and Plenty candy bar of course.

When the stress gets too high, simply push your very own red PANIC button. These double backed adhesive computer keys attach to any computer keyboard, (or any object that brings you frustration.) This gag gift is an actual computer key imprinted with “PANIC.” It’s ideal for bringing a light hearted touch to the office. Great stocking stuffers also.

“We even had a convent order 10 Panic buttons,” said Clark. “Companies are looking to reduce workplace stress. Sometimes just the simple act of giving each employee a PANIC button at a staff meeting makes people more receptive to new information,” she said. During Clark’s workshops, she frequently tapes a Panic button underneath every chair. Participants are told, “Here’s a sure-fire way to reduce stress” as they discover their PANIC buttons.

Studies show humor helps reduce stress and increases productivity. Some people find humor in secretly attaching red PANIC buttons to co-worker’s computers. When Massachusetts General Hospital ordered new computers for one department, supervisors secretly attached PANIC buttons to each computer before delivering them to staff.

Order PANIC buttons from




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Silvana Clark
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