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10 Ways to Stay Professional During Holiday Parties

10 Ways to Stay Professional During Holiday Parties

The party season is upon us, and so is the career-killing potential party. With everybody in a celebratory mood and the champagne flowing freely, opportunities to embarrass yourself are plentiful. Here’s how to make your holiday gatherings memorable in a good way.

Don’t Overindulge

Drinking, or indulging in other types of artificial happy-making substances, can lead to the worst kind of notoriety. Stories of drunken debauchery never fade away. 20 years after you retire, people will still tell the story of the time you took a leak in the punch bowl, faxed naked butt picks to your biggest client, or propositioned the owner’s daughter. And the sad thing is, the more uncomfortable you are at social gatherings, the more likely you are to drink too much. Know your limitations. Drink just enough to loosen up, then switch to water for an hour or so. Your body will thank you, and you won’t make the wall of shame.

Avoid Mistletoe

Holiday office hookups might seem fun at the time (especially if you’re hammered), but they rarely end well. If you don’t overindulge, then you’ll probably avoid the mistletoe anyway.

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Be Wary Of The Buffet

Rich holiday foods can wreak havoc on your digestion[1] at the worst possible time. Avoid foods that cause bloating, upset stomach, heartburn, allergic reactions, and especially (heaven forbid) gas or diarrhea. No holiday treat is worth that level of embarrassment.

Dress Appropriately

As tempting as it may be to go from frumpy office worker to dazzling, scantily clad starlet, keep your holiday look smart and businesslike[2],especially if you’re a woman. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously in the corporate world without sabotaging yourself. The same dress rules apply for men, to a certain extent. If you want to move up the corporate ladder, shirtless beefcake is not a good look.

Put Your Best Smile Forward

Nothing exudes confidence more than a straight back, a firm handshake, and a great smile. Your teeth need extra attention during the holiday grazing season, when sinful sticky foods and sweet beverages are everywhere you turn. There are some better choices you can make to maintain that great holiday smile[3]. Less-sweet holiday options include gingerbread instead of cookies, pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie, and oat and nut-based treats. You’ll also want to brush and floss more often, and consider seeing your dentist for a cleaning in January.

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Do Your Homework

While sparkling conversation comes naturally to a tiny percentage of party-goers, most of us have no idea how to be interesting in a group setting. Prepare to be conversational by understanding what people are likely to talk about. Before the party, catch up on current events, know the hot topics on social media, and review the latest blockbuster movies, even if you haven’t seen them. Be ready to lie your face off about having eaten at a fine restaurant, or plans for a wonderful trip. Embellish, without being overly dramatic. Try on some one-liners that are amusing and cavalier, without drifting into long, boring stories. Keep it short, and interject only when appropriate.

Play The Host

One way to circulate and be noticed without having to be overly social is to become the host. Move around the room greeting people with lines like, “Bob, so glad you came! Can I bring you another drink?” or “Sally, you really have to try these crab cakes, they’re delicious.” If social interactions make you feel itchy, you can have your social moment, make a positive impression, and then move on without offending anyone.

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Office parties are the great equalizer, the one time of year when C-Suite execs come down from the lofty heights to mingle with the common folk, and your chance to make an impression. The best way to do that is to offer a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and say something intelligent about them. Mention a presentation or speech they gave recently, a book they wrote, or an interview they gave. Show that you follow their career and are deeply interested in the company, but don’t fawn, because nobody respects a fawner.

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Keep It Clean

Even if you’re well-known for your salty language, keep your language work-appropriate for the party. Off-color jokes, sly innuendo, and amusingly inappropriate F-bombs might crack up the guys around the water cooler (or even at the club), but that’s not the impression you want to leave on your supervisor’s wife.

Have Fun!

It’s possible to have fun semi-sober and fully dressed. You can maintain your dignity and be entertained and entertaining all at the same time. Eat, drink, and be merry…just not too much.

References

[1]^  Daily Herald: 6 Steps to Better Digestion This Holiday Season

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[2]^  Business Insider: How to dress for your office holiday party without embarrassing yourself

[3]^  Taunton Village Dental: How To Maintain A Great Holiday Smile

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

Reference

[1] http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161124/entlife/161129490/
[2] http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-wear-to-my-office-holiday-party-2016-12
[3] http://www.tauntondental.ca/how-to-maintain-a-great-holiday-smile/

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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