December is here and the holiday season is in full swing! While this festive month is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, it is also one of the most stressful and overwhelming time periods for many adults. From gift-giving, family gatherings to financial concerns, these are some of the main reasons as to why the holiday season is more stressful than enjoyable for some people.
As a matter of fact, the holiday season has actually gotten more stressful for Canadians in the last few years. In a study commissioned by UPS Canada, it found that one-third of Canadians find holiday shopping more stressful compared to five years ago. Money is the biggest concern for many Canadian holiday shoppers, where the same study noted that 69 per cent of Canadians wished they had more money leading up the holidays.
Now with this year’s holiday season being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians have reported their mental health has gotten worse leading up to this time. A survey commissioned by CTV News in October found that four in 10 Canadians noted that their mental health has gotten worse since the early stages of the pandemic in April.
The Importance of Self-Care During The Holidays
For Canadians who may already have underlying mental health issues, the holiday season could actually make it worse, according to mental health experts interviewed by Global News. However, there are steps that individuals can take to prevent the holiday season from further deteriorating their mental health. One of those approaches is through self-care.
Self-care is defined by the WHO as the ability to promote and maintain health and wellness with or without the support of a healthcare provider. Self-care is crucial regardless of the season, but during the holidays, it is important to exercise it consistently given the amount of stressors that are nudging individuals during this time. Especially now with COVID-19, the Government of Canada even noted that the pandemic may also amplify the stress that people are feeling during the holidays.
Self-care is referred to as one of the best ways that you can use to combat stress and loss of productivity, according to an article in Forbes. But, it is important to remember that how you employ these self-care practices can determine how effective it is. The Canadian Psychological Association noted that the methods that people take to manage their stress can make an impact by making it better or worse.
Self-Care Practices and Routines
Health and wellness is arguably one of the most important factors that affects an individual’s sense of happiness and satisfaction. Through self-care, you can learn to understand your own feelings, and mitigate any stressors that may currently be affecting your life.
With the holiday season, it is more important than ever to follow these self-care practices and routines to bring out the best in you.
Reach out. With COVID-19 restrictions, many people may feel more isolated than ever as large gatherings are not permitted in certain areas. It is often a misconception that self-care only means that you shut everyone else away to focus on yourself. While this is partially true, Mayo Clinic recommends that reaching out is one of the best approaches you can take to practice self-care and prevent holiday stress and depression. By knowing that you have a network of others who can support you with what you are going through, it will be easier to decompress rather than bottling up your feelings to yourself.
Move your body. As explored in our previous blog, doing simple exercises is effective in boosting your physical and mental health. Since gyms and in-person classes may not be available in your area, you can still remain physically active while being indoors. CAMH notes that moving your body and engaging in some form of physical exercise is one of the key ways to practicing self-care and it can reduce the stress you may be experiencing.
Recognize your own feelings. All aspects of your health are important, whether it is physical, mental or even emotional. In this case, understanding your own feelings and emotions can help as one of the early steps to taking care of yourself. The Canadian Red Cross states that recognizing your own feelings is one of the practices you can take to take care of yourself during this holiday season, especially with the added stressors of COVID-19. It is important to take time for yourself, and to not suppress your emotions as doing so can only make it worse for your health.
Set realistic goals for yourself. It is the final month of the year, and for some, this may be a reflective time period. Do not be hard on yourself if you did not meet the goals that you set for yourself this year. With COVID-19 affecting the livelihoods of everyone around the world, it is important to not get stressed out over matters that are beyond your control. John Hopkins Medicine indicates that creating unrealistic New Year resolutions for yourself can sometimes set you up for failure. Remember to create goals that are attainable, and be kind to yourself if it does not pan out.
While these are just some of the key ways that you can introduce into your daily self-care routine, there are certainly more ways that you can take to maximize the benefits of self-care. Especially at a time when more people are conscious about their mental health, it is important to be more mindful of your wellbeing and to look at new ways in taking care of yourself.
With Well Street’s “Healthy Holidays: Seasonal Self-Care” seminar, our specialized training can teach you how to take care of yourself to have a healthy and happy holiday season. Our wellness experts can walk you through practices and routines that are easy and effective to protect and enhance your overall wellbeing.
About Well Street
At Well Street, we are founded on the principles of introducing healthy practices to the workplace, which encompasses both mental and physical health. Comprised of medical professionals who have a background in naturopathy, we aim to help organizations foster a healthy corporate environment in order to boost productivity and morale.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help you or your company, consider contacting us to find out more. We are happy to provide you with guidelines and approaches to support the wellbeing of your team members through virtual seminars and programs.