Compensation Solutions Blog
Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO – PEO – ASO – Payroll – Agency)

Managing Holiday Stress

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The holiday season can be a time of joy, but it can also be hectic and stressful. Use these nine tips to calm the pressure.

Most children wait eagerly for the holidays to arrive. Adults often have more mixed feelings. For them, the holidays mean increased stress: dashing to decorate the house, elbowing through crowds at the mall, and fretting about the right gift or how to pay for it.

Relax. Don’t let stress suck the joy out of your holiday season. These tips can help you keep stress under control so your holidays can be merry and bright.

  1. Create a game plan. Spend a little time up front getting organized. Make a list of what you need to buy. Try to shop ahead of time, before things are picked over and you’re under pressure. If you’ll be cooking, plan your menu. Think whether some items could be prepared ahead and frozen or refrigerated.
  2. Make a budget and stick to it. Money is one of the major stressors during the holidays. Don’t dig yourself into a hole by overspending. A thoughtful gift doesn’t have to be expensive. If money is tight, suggest a family gift exchange with a spending limit.
  3. Accept reality. Guests may arrive late. Your mother may get on your nerves. The turkey may be dry. Real life isn’t a holiday special. Don’t expect perfect decorations, a perfect meal, or perfect people. Try to go with the flow and enjoy what you have.
  4. Beware of unhealthy stress relievers. Holiday stress causes some people to fall into bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or eating too much. Think about any unhealthy habits you’re prone to and better ways to handle stress.
  5. Create new traditions. Stressed out by the usual festivities? Try something different. Instead of cooking a huge meal on your own, make it a potluck. Ask adults to bring gag gifts or have a “white elephant” or used book gift exchange. Attend a local holiday concert, walk the neighborhood to look at holiday lights, or go sledding.
  6. Make time for your health. In the holiday rush, don’t let your well-being fall by the wayside. Try to stay on your normal sleep schedule and get regular exercise. If you can’t find a 30-minute chunk of time for exercise, break it up into three 10-minute sessions spread through the day.
  7. Watch out for caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine can raise your stress and interfere with sleep. Alcoholic drinks contain lots of calories, and drinking too much may make you feel depressed. Instead, drink plenty of water or try herb tea or seltzer.
  8. Give yourself a break. In the midst of doing things for others, it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. If you feel stress building up, get away for a few minutes. Find a quiet corner and do some deep breathing, listen to calming music, or just sit. Or throw on a coat and slip outside for a walk.
  9. Enjoy! The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness. In the flurry of the holidays, we sometimes forget what we’re celebrating. Remember to savor the time with people you love.

 

Reaching out
When stress is getting to you, get by with a little help from your friends. Connecting, even briefly, with a close pal or loved one may help you weather a trying moment. However, if you feel you often have trouble coping emotionally, talk with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a mental health professional for help.*
*Check your benefits plan to see what services may be covered.

Federal Market Place Open Until February 15th, 2015

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The federal marketplace is now officially open.From now until February 15th 2015 , Healthcare.Gov  is having their open enrollment for the 2015 plan year. If you are considering applying for individual or family coverage, please visit the offical website to look over your plan options. Remember the deadline is fast approaching so dont miss out on this once a year opportunity (outside of a qualifying event) to enroll. If you need assistance, please follow the drop down selections on the Healthcare.gov home page.

 

You can see plans and prices, before you enroll. It is extremely user friendly.

  • Select see plans and prices
  • Enter your zip code
  • Enter you annual income
  • Enter your age and the ages of any other member in your family you are seeking coverage for.

 

After you enter all information multiple plan options will come up for you to compare. You can compare the multiple options to see which will be the best choice for you or your family.

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If you have any questions or need further asssitance, Healthcare.gov home page has links to find resources near you for assistance .

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Medicare Open Enrollment- Until December 7th 2014

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From now until December 7th 2014, Medicare.Gov is having their open enrollment for the 2015 plan year. If you are considering applying for medicare or changing your coverage, please visit the offical website to look over your plan options. Remember the deadline is fast approaching so dont miss out on this once a year opportunity (outside of your eligibility period) to enroll. If you need assistance, please follow the drop down selections on the Medicare.gov home page.

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Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Snowy roadWinter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

Photo: A man and woman outside.

  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries regularly.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation.

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires
  • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include
    • blankets;
    • food and water;
    • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
    • compass and maps;
    • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit; and
    • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

Photo: A snow thrower clearing a street.Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.

  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

Photo: A person standingby a snow bank.

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Be aware of the wind chill factor.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

Photo: A snow storm.Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.

  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs.
    • Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling.
    • Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.
    • Keep a downwind window open.
    • Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.

Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Stop Germs! Stay Healthy!

wash-your-hands-poster When should you wash your hands?

• Before, during, and after preparing food • Before eating food • Before and after caring for someone who is sick • Before and after treating a cut or wound • After using the toilet • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste • After handling pet food or pet treats • After touching garbage •

 How to wash your hands properly:

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Habitat for Humanity-Paterson

On Friday October 3rd, 2014, Compensation Solutions team members participated in a team building event. CSI team members joined forces with Habitat for Humanity Paterson working on a home in the first ward section of Paterson  New Jersey. Our team with the guidance of the Habitat for Humanity crew leaders worked on the three floor single family home. During our time there our team worked together to prime and paint the walls, help with preparation  for new floors and even use power tools!
Together we spent the day as a team not only growing stronger and closer, but as a team helping to improve and give back to our local community.
#CSI #CompensationSolutions #CompSolutions #CompSolutionsAgency #Team #Teambuilding #CSIHRO #Community #HR IMG_1727IMG_1732IMG_1731 - Copy

Visions Federal Credit Union Seminar

Visions Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce a free seminar event called “How to Survive and Win the College Admissions Process”. The seminar is being held on  Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Visions Oakland branch office located at 3 Post Road, Oakland NJ.  Light refreshments will be served and all are Welcome!

Please see the attached flyer announcing the event and distribute to co-workers as you see fit.

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2014 Flu Season is Just Around The Corner!

The 2014 flu season is just around the corner!  Compensation Solutions has compiled the following information in the hope that it will be a valuable resource for you and your employees.

As you know, the best defense is a good offense.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first line of defense for maintaining good health is prevention so the CDC has compiled information for the 2014-2015 flu season which can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/index.htm.

Flu season can also be a difficult time for employers to maintain productivity.  Therefore, the CDC recommends the following strategies to help minimize employee absenteeism and promote workplace health:  host a flu vaccination clinic at your worksite or simply promote the benefits of the flu vaccination to your staff.

Supporting the flu vaccination amongst your staff is as simple as becoming informed about flu shot clinics and knowing locally available clinics. This is an easy task since the flu shot has widespread availability among a number of retailers including CVS, Walmart, Target and Walgreens.  The following website is a great tool to locate a flu shot clinic: http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/index.html

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CSI End of Summer Luau/ BBQ 2014

We celebrated the end of Summer and the beginning of fall with a Company Luau/ BBQ and Team building event.

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Compensation Solutions is a Sponsor of the 2014 MM&B Bergen Bike Tour

For another year, Compensation Solutions, a CoAdvantage Company, one of the tri-state area’s leading Human Resource Outsourcing Organizations (HRO), is a Contributing Sponsor of the MM&B Bergen Bike Tour. Now in its 19th year, the event will be held at Darlington Park in Mahwah, New Jersey on Sunday, September 28th, 2014, rain or shine. Originally organized to promote charity among professionals, the MM&B Bergen Bike Tour has raised more than $1,000,000 since its inception in 1996.

Full news release: Compensation Solutions is a Sponsor of the 2014 MM&B Bergen Bike Tour.
To support the Volunteer Center’s efforts, click here.