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Feeling a little blue in the winter months is common. Between the stress of the holidays, increased demands at work, and less daylight, it's normal for people to experience changes in mood. In fact, 60% of Americans feel stressed during the holiday season and 47% of Americans are stressed about their finances this time of year.But there are simple yet effective ways to help reduce holiday stress, both at home and and work.
Tips for Employees
Reach out to loved ones
Even though many people are vaccinated, big holiday gatherings might be cancelled or scaled down this year. If you can’t see family or friends in person this holiday season, make an effort to connect on the phone or online.
Give yourself permission to say, “No”
A packed schedule of activities during the holidays can take the joy right out of your schedule, leaving you burnt out. Say no to events that you really don’t want to attend, whether they are in-person gatherings or virtual happy hours with colleagues.
Give back to your communities
Donating food, money, and/or time can brighten the holidays for those around you. Giving to others can help offset depression and provide a deeper sense of purpose.
Don’t rely on alcohol and drugs
Overindulging may seem like a good short-term fix for relieving holiday stress, anxiety, or blues, but in the end, they make the situation worse. Instead, try exercise, mindfulness activities such as meditation, or listening to uplifting music.
Tips for Companies and Managers
Increase workplace flexibility
Allow employees a more flexible schedule when possible. Permitting people to take care of some personal holiday business can give them some breathing room outside of work.
Schedule workplace holiday events during work hours
Workplace holiday events that happen outside of normal work hours can place additional stress on an already busy schedule. Allow employees to devote their off-work time to their personal holiday responsibilities and activities.
Be extra aware of those who have suffered a loss
Because of the pandemic, more employees may be facing a holiday season where they are mourning the loss of loved ones. Let employees know you remember what they’ve been through by asking how they are doing.
Encourage your employees to ask for support
If your company offers a mental health benefit, this is a great time of year for people to start using it. From therapy and mindfulness exercises to recovery support, there is a wide range of resources and services available through mental health benefits that can greatly contribute to individual well-being and overall mental wellness. Therapy sessions can provide a safe and confidential space for individuals to explore and address their mental health concerns, offering guidance and support from trained professionals. Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation and breathing techniques, can help individuals cultivate a sense of calm, reduce stress, and improve focus. Spring Health offers comprehensive, personalized mental healthcare for employees and their families.
Sources: Healthline, Robert Half, KFF