It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not necessarily for everyone. For many, the holiday season can be a time of joy, relaxation and time spent with loved ones. It can also be a time where many personal and workplace commitments can leave people feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Add the anxiety of all the ripple effects of coronavirus to this year’s festivities, and this holiday season may be more stressful than holidays of the past.
“Stress is a reaction to a situation – it isn’t about the actual situation. We usually feel stressed when we think that the demands of the situation are greater than our resources to deal with that situation. Stress is part of being human—no one can eliminate all stress from their life or prevent stress from ever happening in the future. The goal of stress management is to bounce back from problems or challenges and maintain wellness.” (“Stress”, Canadian Mental Health Association, 2018)
Here are some helpful tips to reduce holiday stress:
- Focus on what you can control. An important reminder during the holiday season: each person only has control over his or her actions, not those of others. Focus on what you can control, such as your own decisions, rather than using your valuable time and energy trying to control others around you.
- Find positive supports in those around you. From a chat over morning coffee with a colleague to a check-in with a trusted friend or family member, having time to talk with and confide in people you trust, can help improve or make the situation less isolating and stressful.
- Show kindness to yourself and others. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of the holiday season, between end-of-year deadlines, family obligations, parties with friends and colleagues and holiday gift shopping. With so many factors at play, it’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays – a time to be kind, thankful, generous whenever possible, and time with those who mean the most to us.
- Prioritize self-care. Self-care is really important to re-energize and replenish your system. Give your mind, body, and soul what it needs so you can keep moving ahead each day and deal with what life brings you. Start with simple things you can control – get a good night’s sleep, move more, stay hydrated, eat well, and take breaks throughout the day.
- Seek and accept help. One positive outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a greater focus on the importance of mental health. Actively seeking support is gaining more acceptance for a variety of mental health needs. This trend is expected to continue, and even increase over the holidays, as people reach out to work through holiday stress or feelings of grief and loss, which can escalate during the holidays. Your employer may have resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP), including online information, available counseling, and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members or professionals can improve your ability to manage stress.
Safeguarding your physical and mental health can go a long way towards helping you feel good.
We at Made Safe NL wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!
Work safe. Home safe. Every day.
Download this resource here.