Embracing Change this Holiday Season—Tips to Make the Best of It

Posted on December 9, 2020 by Mitchell Best, CEO

Family celebrating virtual holiday_smallThis holiday season is different—no matter how you spin it. This year’s gatherings are going to look a lot different than usual. There are tough choices ahead regarding how to safely celebrate the holidays.

You may be feeling increased sense of loneliness, sadness, anger, anxiety or stress. Just remember—it is okay to feel these normal human emotions.

With so many challenges outside of our control, focus on what you can control and remind yourself, this is only temporary. It’s important to take care of yourself and assess where you are at on your own well being journey. Here are 12 tips to address each dimension of your well being and encourage self-care.

Emotional Well Being

  1. During the busy holiday time, try to keep household routines the same. Stick to usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays.

  2. Throw guilt out the window! Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to be everything to everyone, or even to enjoy the holidays exactly like others do. Likewise, try not to overanalyze your interactions with others. Give yourself a break.

Professional Well Being

  1. Even if you’re not traveling or having social gatherings this year, think about taking time away from work to relax and unwind.

  2. Create inclusive ways to celebrate the holiday season, whether you’re in the office or working remotely. For example, schedule an ugly sweater party virtually with your department—allowing time to reconnect with your coworkers.

Relational Well Being

  1. Finding meaningful connections where you can share emotions openly is critical during these times. Identify one or two people who fill this space for you and be sure to make time together for a virtual coffee or happy hour.

  2. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your family and colleagues. Doing so can improve your own mood and perspective, as well as your relationships.

Physical Well Being

  1. Do not abandon your exercise routine. One of the best ways to combat stress is to get regular exercise. Not sure what to do? Try heading outside for a brisk, half hour walk each day.

  2. Focus on healthy eating. Try having a healthy snack before holiday meals to avoid overindulging or try out a new, healthy recipe.

Spiritual Well Being

  1. Staying spiritually healthy requires us, from time to time, to have a larger perspective than we tend to usually take—to expand our focus and reflect. It requires us to let go of expectations and take the “10,000 foot view.” Try letting go of your traditional holiday activities such as large family dinners and planning a new tradition—perhaps a virtual dinner party!

  2. Maintaining spiritual well being during the holidays and the rest of the year means knowing what’s right for you and following that path. If traditions don’t feel right to you then create your own. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. How you choose to celebrate the holidays is very personal. It’s up to you. Listen to the whispers of your heart and follow them. 

Financial/Legal Well Being

  1. Set a budget for how much money you plan to spend on holiday gifts and stick to it.

  2. Charitable donations of up to $300 can be deducted on your 2020 taxes without itemizing, thanks to the CARES Act.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling, don’t hesitate to seek support! This year the holidays will be different—we are here to support you through it in any way we can. Whether its scheduling a virtual counseling session or connecting with our in-the-moment behavioral health support counselors we are here to help!

  • EAP Members: connect with us through your VITAL WorkLife App or call 800.383.1908.
  • Physician Well Being Resources Members: connect with us through your VITAL WorkLife App or call 877.731.3949.

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