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Simply, it is getting away from school for a few days. As one parent said, we must do it during Covid-19. “The kids have been locked up in the house since March 2020. They are losing out on all social aspects of being in school and a lot of the fun parts of it,” Judy DeJohn of Montgomery Township, Somerset County, N.J. She spoke to Celeste E. Whittaker of the Courier-Post.

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Prevent COVID-19 at Work

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The importance of staying SAFE and HEALTHY…

(From  ZipRecruiter.com – The Courier-Post – Dec. 6, 2020)Stay home if you are sick

  • Tell your boss or supervisor you are sick
  • Keep physical boundaries at work
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Wash your hand frequently and thoroughly
  • Keep surfaces clean
  • Reconsider your business travel
  • Keep yourself informed.

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11 Ways To Help Manage Your Year-End Stress

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From Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President

Dale Carnegie Training of Central and Southern New Jersey

With the holidays right around the corner, they can frequently bring stress from year-end projects, annual reviews, shopping, cooking, and travel plans. In fact, a poll by the American Psychological Association shows that 8 out of 10 people anticipate increased stress over the holidays.

11 Ways To Help You Manage Year-End Stress.

1. Set Attainable Goals – You have to be honest with yourself about your projects and to-do list. Let’s say you have a project due for a client, but you need information from them. To help address the management of something, develop a timetable that manages all action items.

2. Manage Your Budget/Expenses – Holidays can put a lot of stress on your budget due to gifts, luncheons, and dinners. Since holiday bonuses are not a guarantee, you should try to live within your current salary/income. Before spending money you don’t have, you should create a holiday budget.

3. Eat Smart And Sleep Well – Many people have used most of their vacation time, especially at companies that do not allow employees to carry vacation time over to the following year. Additionally, over-committing to holiday events and eating those holiday treats quickly leads to a lack of sleep and weight gain. Combat that trend by eating healthy and finding time to recharge your batteries.

4. Physical Activity – With life getting busy and days feeling shorter, it is easy to not take care of yourself. However, a bit of activity can help you keep extra weight off and reduce stress, even if you only have time for a 15-minute walk during lunch.

5. Better Time Management – We all have things that need to be done by year-end, from holiday shopping, visiting friends to connecting with clients and co-workers. If you want to stay ahead of your stress level, it’s best to address them BEFORE they are due.

6. Address How You Are Feeling – Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to complete by year-end is natural. Although this feeling is quite common for many of us, it might be helpful if you confide in a family member, friend, or co-worker to unload these feelings.

7. Volunteer Your Time Or Make A Donation – Everyone gets the holiday blues, but helping others is a great way to relieve stress and just feel better. If you find that you and/or your organization has some discretionary funding available, it might be helpful to spend it on a cause that you feel is important.

8. Socialize With Your Co-Workers – Most of your co-workers are probably feeling the holiday stress, too. To combat holiday stress, do something fun like a simple holiday gift exchange or luncheon even if it is over Zoom.

9. Relax – Don’t forget to take some time to yourself and do something relaxing. Are you interested in reading, yoga, or tinkering? Make time for your hobby to help get rid of your stress.

10. Maintain A Sense Of Humor – It’s easy to forget to laugh during the holiday season with so much work to get done and so many things to prepare. Take a laugh break. Look up some holiday jokes on Google and share them with others.

11. Plan Ahead – The holidays are incredibly hectic. However, you can reduce your stress by planning ahead. Instead of simply marking off events such as “family dinner party,” plan out your preparation by scheduling time to “shop for tomorrow’s family dinner party.”

Key Points:

·       The proper planning will go a long way to help reduce your stress.

·       Limit your food and alcohol intake during the holiday and always make your last few drinks water.

·       At the end of each day (or the start of one), take some time for reflection.

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5 ways your job will change because of pandemic

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Thank you to Kate Lopaze of thejobnetwork for writing the full version of this article.

  1. Physical distance and masks will be the norm
  2. Home is the new office
  3. Coworker relationships and meetings will be different
  4. Business travel may go extinct
  5. Medical screenings may become mandatory

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Advice from a legend

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It was actress/author Julie Andrews who said, “When in doubt, stand still.”

She also says, “Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end. And I pray that the end of Covid-19 comes soon.”

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How exercise can boost work performance

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This is excellent advice via the Courier-Post on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018:



We’re all familiar with the obvious benefits of exercise — regular physical activity can keep us looking and feeling fit and healthy, increase our energy levels and confidence and help us maintain high levels of self-esteem. Staying active can also help us fight off a wealth of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

If you’re still not sold, perhaps this will help seal the deal — exercise helps fuel and maintain a healthy body, and it can actually improve your ability to think and retain information.


Recent studies have shown the following cognitive benefits of exercise:

Boosts brainpower: If you’re looking to take your brain’s ability to the next level, you can’t do much better than regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase the volume of key areas in your brain.

Enhances thinking ability: Regular workouts will help kick away the dreaded “brain fog” that keeps you from thinking clearly and keep your mind and thoughts razor sharp all day long.

Helps you process and remember new information more effectively: If you’re trying to acquire a new skill or task, like learning a new language or tackling a new job responsibility, combining it with regular exercise can help. New research suggests that physical activity can increase the size of the medial temporal and pre-frontal cortex of your brain, key areas that regulate and control thinking and memory, so you’ll be able to master that new skill faster.

Improves ability on cognitive tasks: Do you have an important test for work or school coming up? Whatever your mental goals are, exercise will help you succeed on all sorts of cognitive tasks that test your intelligence and brainpower.

Keeps away the negatives: Regular exercise will help keep your mood positive and upbeat, help you achieve more restful sleep at night and help reduce anxiety and stress, ensuring your brain works at its best.


Now that you know it works, let’s explore how you can make it work for you.

Although there’s some debate regarding the type of exercise that best serves to promote brain function, according to a recent article by Harvard Medical School, “researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.”

Research also suggests that although you’ll receive a brain benefit regardless of when you decide to exercise, the most promising results typically occur when you do your workout before or even during a cognitive task.

Another big question you might be wondering about is how much exercise you should do in order to receive a cognitive benefit. The same Harvard Medical School report suggests that “standard recommendations advise half an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week, or 150 minutes a week.”

If you’re worried that you’re simply too busy to exercise or find the very idea of exercise daunting, a great way to take a step forward toward a regular active lifestyle is to start small. Try taking a brief yet brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes each day, and gradually increase your workout in both length and intensity as time passes.

Now that you know all about the many benefits that exercise will bring to your life, put the excuses aside and get up and get moving toward yoursuccessful future!

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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11 ways to manage year-end stress

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From Dale Carnegie’s Anita Zinsmeister comes this:
Knowing the holidays are a busy time, be prepared for the madness and take the time for self-care.  Dale Carnegie has compiled a series of scientifically proven tips to help manage stress as you approach the end of the year.
Here are 11 ways to manage that year-end stress: 

1.  Plan – With so much going on during the holidays, it is best to get what you need to do out of your head and into a task list.  It may be helpful to create two itineraries — one for work tasks and another for home tasks.  Make use of your calendar to schedule blocks of time for upcoming events.   

2. Be Realistic – Understand and accept that the pace of the holidays is different than the rest of the year.  Chances are, projects will not run as smoothly or efficiently around this time.  As a result, adjust your expectations and plan ahead.  Be realistic when developing timetables for projects.   

3.  Prioritize – While you want to scale back your expectations on deadlines, you will want to step up your level of efficiency.  With so many obligations, you will need to prioritize your tasks to ensure that you accomplish what you need to.   

4.  Socialize – Although you want to be efficient with your time, don’t forget to share some time with your co-workers.  Likely, they too will be in the throes of holiday stress.  Share holiday plans and consider doing something fun like a holiday gift exchange or luncheon.

5.  Budget – People often cite money as a main stressor during the holidays.  Plan in advance for the additional expenses that come around this time, such as gifts, lunches, and dinners.  If you have a handle on your holiday finances, you can avoid one of the biggest holiday pitfalls. 

6.  Keep Active – With the days getting shorter and so much going on, it is easy to cut out physical activity.  Not only will staying active keep the holiday pounds off, walking just 15 minutes a day has been shown to reduce stress.

7.  Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle – People have the tendency to burn the midnight oil during the holidays.  Overextending oneself often leads to poor eating habits and a lack of sleep.  Eat right as often as you can and get at least seven hours of sleep.   

8.  Laugh – The holidays can be overwhelming, but they really should be enjoyable. Try not to take things too seriously by keeping lighthearted.  If you find yourself getting too worked up, search the web for some jokes or watch a funny movie.

9.  Volunteer – Sometimes it can help reduce stress to do something for others.  Being charitable with your time or making a donation is a chance to give to others who might not have opportunities during the holidays otherwise.

10.  Reflect – Take time to reflect on how you feel.  Between finishing projects and wrapping gifts, you might feel burned out.  This is natural, and it may help you deal with stress to share your feelings with friends, family, or co-workers. 

11.  Relax – Everyone has different ways to unwind and relax.  Take the time to meditate, read, or do yoga to calm your nerves at the end of the day.
Executive Summary:  The holidays are an especially stressful time. For most of us, the clock is ticking to complete year-end projects at work and accomplish all those last-minute holiday tasks at home.  To combat holiday anxiety, we have compiled a list of tips to stay happy and healthy during this time. 
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A bit of bathroom cellphone etiquette — A health disconnet

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From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct. 10, 2017)

By Mari A. Schaefer – Staff Writer

Next time you want to check your cellphone on the way to the bathroom sink after using the toilet, fight the urge.

You could make yourself sick, warns a microbiologist at London Metropolitan University.

“Toilet seats, handles, sinks, and taps are covered in germs such as E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections and intestinal illness, C. diff.,which can result in diarrhea, and acinetobacter, which can cause a contagious respiratory infection,” Paul Matewele recently told the London newspaper the Sun.

Those germs could be transferred to the phone, which then might wind up on your table when you eat out.

There’s more.

A small study in the journal Germ looked at the mobile phones of 27 high school students. They found traces of E. coli and even greater amounts of “potentially pathogenic microbes” such as Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus cereus and Neisseria flavescens.

The good news was that no antibiotic-resistant genes were detected on cellphone surfaces, according to the Germ study.

This news bears a resemblance to studies that found kitchen sponges are also teeming with nasty bacteria.

And it doesn’t stop there.

“Handbags, wallets, purses and tote bags often test positively for whole communities of germs, including norovirus, MRSA and E. coli,” said Matewele. He suggests taking a vacuum and wipes to those items once a week and keeping them off eating surfaces. mschaefer@phillynews.com                                                        

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Firework safety tips

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  1. Do not allow children to light fireworks, even sparklers, without parental supervision.
  2. Do not allow young children to handle sparklers at all — certainly not those younger than 5, says Jefferson Hospital surgeon Randall W. Culp.
  3. Do not pick up firework debris. It might still go off.
  4. Avoid buying fireworks wrapped in brown paper. That often means they were made for professional displays, and are unsafe for regular consumers.
  5. Never position any part of your body over fireworks when lighting the fuse. Light them one at a time, then retreat to asafe distance immediately after lighting.
  6. Never point or throw fireworks at anyone.
  7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy to cool off used devices.
  8. Never shoot fireworks while holding them in your hand, or in metal or glass containers.

Sources: Consumer Product Safety Commission; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

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