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  • Writer's pictureClare Smyth

How to deal with stress during the holidays

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

The holidays can be a time of immense joy and time with those in our lives; it can also bring its own variety of stress. This may be one of the hardest times of the year for many reasons. Here is how to identify the signs of stress and how to be able to be present for both yourself & others.

The holidays are a time to relax, unwind and reflect on the year gone by. However, for some the holidays can prove an extremely challenging and emotive time. This can be particularly true with the added pressure of the current economic climate-with rising costs, and added financial pressure, an enjoyable period can become overwhelming and stressful.

We can all relate

Imagine being a jobseeker or underemployed that may have had struggles such as job losses or trouble finding work this year. The expectation of presents, dinners, holiday events and other celebrations can cause great stress for people who are already dealing with rising costs.This coupled with family differences at large social gatherings and crowded shopping centers may indeed bring can make the festive period stressful.

Awareness and acknowledging the potential causes of stress during this period can help ourselves, our colleagues, and customers to have the tools and understanding to ease the stress.

Identifying stress indicators

  • Irritable, angry impatient, or wound up

  • Over-burdened or overwhelmed

  • Anxious nervous or afraid

  • Like your thoughts are racing and you can't switch off

  • Unable to enjoy yourself

  • Depressed

  • Uninterested in getting out of bed

  • Like you've lost your sense of humour

  • A sense of dread

  • Worried or tense

  • Neglected or lonely

  • Existing mental health problems getting worse

Impact on the workforce

The pressure on our workforce professionals and local employers who have worked hard all year may be heightened in such a challenging period. People may be experiencing burn out and it’s important to understand the implications this can have on our mental health and well-being. So that we can assist ourselves, our teams, and our customers, it is vital to practice self-care.

6 top tips for reducing stress this season

  1. Make your Christmas attainable - Budget within your means - by doing so financial pressure and stress can be avoided. By being realistic about what is attainable for you, you can minimize some of the pressures. An important part of the holiday is spending time with those we love and care for.

  2. Take time for yourself - Do something that you enjoy, read the book that you haven’t time for, go, and see a movie etc. Taking some time away to switch off can help to ensure you do not become overwhelmed.

  3. Reach out to a friend or family member - if you need to talk about how you are feeling.

  4. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one - The festive season can be particularly hard, and this can affect your mental health. Perhaps, try and honor them or create a new tradition and mostly, important understand your feelings are valid.

  5. Switch off from work completely - If you are experiencing burnout, it is important to take the holidays to switch off. We do not often get the opportunity to switch off, for some this may be difficult, but it is important.

  6. Enjoy! This is a time to be happy - Spend time with your family and the ones you love the most. This can help to ensure the stress does not become overwhelming.

If you are an employer, case manager or jobseeker find out more about TalentSensus and how it can help you click the button below.

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