The holiday season can be a time of joy and happiness, but people can also feel particularly stressed, worried or lonely around the Christmas and New Year period. As we approach the end of the year, take a moment to reflect on how you can look after yourself over the next six weeks.
Family and relationships
Family and relationship problems can be a trigger for anxiety. Some of the following strategies may help to manage family stress.
- Keep your expectations realistic. If you predict unpleasant feelings or conflict, plan a short visit.
- If tensions are likely to arise, consider avoiding things that might exacerbate the situation, such as how much alcohol you drink.
- If you feel upset, go for a walk, find somewhere private to call a friend, or take a nap.
- Avoid known triggers. If your family has a history of arguing over a certain topic, don’t bring it up. If someone brings up the topic, use distraction and quickly move on to something else to talk about.
For some people, Christmas can be a time of loneliness. Connecting with others or using the time to do something you will enjoy can help to relieve feelings of sadness or depression.
- If you’re separated from family and friends by distance, organise a phone or Skype chat.
- If you don’t have family to be with, reach out to a friend. They might like to invite you to their Christmas event, or plan to have a special Christmas catch up with you.
- Arrange to be a volunteer over Christmas. There are lots of charities who will welcome your help. You’ll connect with people and feel good about making a positive contribution.
- Get involved in community events. Whether it’s Christmas carols or local markets, getting out and about can help relieve loneliness.
- Develop a plan in advance to avoid feeling depressed or stressed on the day. Perhaps make yourself a special breakfast, go for a drive and visit a favourite spot, or start that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Support is available from your Employee Assistance Provider
If you need support during the holiday period, help is at hand. Our EAP short-term, solution-focused counselling service is designed to help employees work through personal or workplace concerns. Employees may choose to access this service as a preventative measure or in response to a particular issue. Provided by professional counsellors and psychologists, we offer a range of options including face-to-face, telephone and video counselling to suit the needs and preferences of each person.