For some, Christmas is a time of festivities, fun and frolics. But for others, Christmas can be a difficult time of year, where the stress of socialising, the financial pressure of presents and the forced festivities can be overwhelming. It is important to bear this in mind during the run up to Christmas and ensure colleagues are managing their mental health.
Here are some top tips for assisting with employees’ wellbeing at this time of year:
1. The festive season is a great opportunity to reach out to people. Take the opportunity to raise awareness around mental health, ensure employees understand the importance of wellbeing and remove the stigma associated with mental health issues.
2. Remember that alcohol is a depressive and that excess drinking can make employees feel low. Ensure that Christmas parties and events are not excessively boozy and that employees who do not wish to drink don’t feel pressurised to do so or left out.
3. Be on the look out for signs that a colleague is feeling low. Encourage employees to talk to their colleagues, manager or HR if they seem anxious or overwhelmed. Let employees know that talking things through can have lots of benefits for their mental health.
4. There is a temptation to overindulge and under sleep during the festive period. Remind employees that a healthy body helps maintain a healthy mind and that sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on mental health.
5. Draw employees’ attention to any stress and mental wellbeing at work policy that you have in place and/or any mental health services that are on offer, such as an extrernal helpline they can call or an internal mental health first aider or champion they can speak to.
“That” time of year is rapidly approaching. The season of goodwill to all will soon be here. However, the reality is that, at home and at work, it is often more the season of forced bonhomie and strained relationships. Coping with the additional pressures of the holiday season alongside those of our day jobs often means that even the best planned festivities turn decidedly frosty as conflict rears its head. Some unresolved disputes can linger on year after year, while others can build up over the preceding months, boiling over as workmates or relatives gather together.