GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — According to the American Institute of Stress, more than 80% of workers in the United States suffer from work-related stress and businesses in the country lose up to $300 billion a year as a result. And according to the American Management Association, more than 65% of U.S. workers report additional stress at work during the holiday season.

When it comes to managing stress at work, there are different things you can do and different avenues available for you to seek help.

Common side effects of stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Upset stomach
  • Overeating
  • Excessive drinking

Some ways that you can help reduce your stress level while at work include:

  • Exercise
  • Learn to say "no"
  • Practicing self-care
  • Deep breathing
  • Find the problem and make a change
  • Seek help

And when it comes to employers, there are various things a company can do to help their employees through tough times.

Some things companies can do include:

  • Provide mental health resources
  • Schedule holiday events during normal business hours
  • Offer flexible schedules or allow more work-from-home days
  • Provide holiday treats or employee recognition to boost morale

Priority Health recommends that employers watch for signs of mental illness in their employees. Things like a change in feelings or demeanor, loss of interest, a change in sleeping habits, difficulty interacting and uncontrollable emotions are all signs something is wrong.

Priority Health helps employers create custom "employer toolkits" and access to all members with 24/7, confidential, over-the-phone assistance to help employees navigate their healthcare plan and find providers who can help them. That number is printed on the back of every member card: 800-673-8043.

Right now is open enrollment period, so Priority Health recommends that people consider the mental health resources that are provided under whatever plan they choose.

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