4 Instant Remedies for the Annual Enrollment Virus

Written by benefitexpress | November 23, 2015

Open Enrollment: Best Practice Checklist

It's no coincidence that flu season and open enrollment season overlap. Annual enrollment shares some of the same toxic traits as influenza and is equally contagious across the workplace. It doesn't matter how much you prepare - the fact that there's additional work, no matter how much, makes this time of year stressful for human resources everyone.

I work for benefitexpress - a company so fed up with the time and energy it took to enroll, that they based their business on software that makes it easier - so believe me when I say we empathize. With all the extra work that we are collectively facing: I invite you to relax - because at the end of the day, it's really your emotional health that will motivate you to keep going.

Here are some ideas of what you could do for a quick break from enrollment:

1. Do Nothing

No, seriously - nothing. You may think it's counter-intuitive to stop working when there's so much work, but even a small mental break of 2 minutes is great for clearing your head. If you can't justify leaving your desk, then try calm.com. This simple site supplies a free guided or timed break with a selection of ambient sounds and screens.

If you find yourself getting distracted, then try a site that knows if you're actively doing nothing - if you use your keyboard or move your mouse, then the 2 minute timer resets.

2. Give your eyes a break

The modern workplace reflects real life with respect to screens - they're everywhere. You may not be mindful of it all the time, but you know it's true when surveys say digital eye strain is taking a toll on technology users. Eye strain dryness makes it difficult to work and also causes headaches.

Force yourself to blink now and again to keep your eyes lubricated and practice the 20/20/20 rule to reduce strains - Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

3. Stretch

Even though being seated is commonly connected with being relaxed, that's not the case. Unless you are posed to sleep, any long period of remaining in one position will cause the body to compress in different areas. It's important to stretch your muscles and have joint movement to prevent pains and fatigue. Try these 12 stretches from WebMD.

4. Stop working when you should be on break.

You're only human. Even workaholics have a personality, so allow yourself to be you during lunch hour. This means you should do your best not to think about work. The best way to do that would be to physically leave your desk to eat - even if that just means you'd just be in the lunchroom.

The secondary point here is that you need to informally interact with people. Whether it's meeting up with a friend at Portillo's or sitting with a work buddy at lunch - interactions with others are some of the best things to keep yourself mentally healthy.

Topics: For Employers