Managing stress during the holidays

Managing stress during the holidays

We are now well into the bustling holiday season. Burnout is always on the rise this time of year, and it’s not hard to figure out why. 

The holidays often focus on others by sending cards, buying gifts and cooking food. We may struggle to balance it all while still maintaining our everyday lives.  

During times of high stress, finding time for you is more important than ever. Give yourself a gift this holiday season, and plan accordingly by making sure you are carving out time each day to practice self-care. This practice allows you to navigate the inevitable challenges as they arise. Here are some additional wellness tips for this month to reflect on and combat stress this holiday season.

Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few friends to hold on to and be open to creating new friendships. Even though your holiday plans may look different this year, you can find ways to celebrate.

Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Try to be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too. Make sure you take time to open up and process your feelings with those you love who are outside the situation. Reaching out to your support system gives you a new perspective on things that are weighing on you.

Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones for other reasons, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season, but you can give yourself the space and permission to feel those emotions and reach out for help and support. We may experience many emotions within the holiday season, so make sure you are practicing self-care techniques such as mindfulness or exercise to boost your mood and resilience.

Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out support. Community, religious or other social groups may have opportunities to connect in person or virtually for support and companionship. If you’re stressed during the holidays, talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call or a video chat. If you are community-focused, think about volunteering your time or doing something to help others, such as dropping off a meal or dessert at a friend’s home or donating to a local food kitchen. Being in the service of others can lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

If you, a family member or a team member are struggling with feelings or emotions that interfere with the ability to engage in daily life, reach out to the team at the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides virtual and on-site assessments for those in need of assistance. To set up an assessment with an EAP counselor, call 305-375-3293 or email [email protected]. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Learn about Employee Support Services (ESS)