This time of year everyone is holly, jolly, and a little stressed out.
It's easy to get so caught up in our own day-to-day circumstances (or chaos) and forget that everyone around us is doing the same.
This includes our co-workers who, if you're anything like me, you spend something like 95 hours a day with.
When seasonal stress sets in, it's easy to bury our head and see only the next hurdle we have to overcome. At the end of the day we know exactly what went wrong, who said what that rubbed you the wrong way, or how much we accomplished.
But what about everyone else?
When was the last time you asked your co-worker how their day was going? When was the last time you told them thank you for their hard work.
The co-worker who always manages to make your life easier.
The one that's there hours before everyone else just to get a head start.
The one that greets the world with a smile despite feeling under the weather.
The one that always seems to get stuck with the bulk of those "other duties as assigned."
I'm guilty of getting in a routine and forgetting to look around. I think we all are.
When I break the printer for the 14th time on a Monday, I'm quick to seek out help. But after deadline, when things are slow, do I remember to ask who could use a hand?
For the most part, when someone is having a tough day, they aren't even asking for a solution. But acknowledgement that you see how hard they're working can go a long way.
They're in your office, but do you know the hardest part of their day? Do you know what takes up the most of their time? Do you know what makes them feel valued?
I remember a job I had several years ago. For the most part, I loved the job.
But every day, at roughly the same time, I had to run across town to pick up some paperwork.
It always seemed to be the worst time to leave the office. I'm not even sure why, but it always felt like the most inconvenient, annoying part of my day. Every single day. Inevitably, I dreaded it and returned to the office flustered and, to be honest, a little cranky every time. But, it was part of the job, so I got it done.
One day, I mentioned it in casual conversation to a coworker.
"Really?" she said. "I had no idea that was stressing you out."
She then told me she passed that office every day on her way home for lunch and could very easily pop in and grab the paperwork for me.
It was a tiny gesture on her part, but made a tremendous difference on my work day.
This time of year especially, I hope we can all remember that a little extra kindness goes a long way.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Daily Progress.