The Holidays Can Be Challenging: 5 Ways to Support Employee Mental Health

Employee mental health is important year-round. However, the holidays can be an especially fragile time for staff already struggling with mental health issues, loss, or isolation. Healthcare workers often work through holidays, missing special occasions with their loved ones. This can increase feelings of stress and isolation.

Here are five ways in which you can support your employees’ mental health during the holidays.

Understand the Impact of Mental Health on Your Employees

In the healthcare industry, long shifts and caseloads can lead to stress and even burnout. The holidays are no different. Healthcare workers give tirelessly of themselves. This compounds during the holidays while caring for patients who are away from families and missing festivities. If left unmanaged, this can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion.

Host a Virtual Holiday Event

Employees can experience feelings of isolation, especially due to pandemic concerns. If your company isn’t hosting an in-person holiday event, consider hosting something online. Be sure to plan something interactive and inclusive. Ideas like an ugly sweater contest, a trivia contest, wine or chocolate tastings, or virtual gift exchanges are sure to get everyone involved.

Emphasize Resources for Employees

Use the holidays as an opportunity to communicate your business’s commitment to mental health. Highlight resources that are available to employees. Make sure to include any changes to wellness benefits or policies. As well, use this as an opportunity to highlight training and new programs or benefits that will be available in the new year.

Encourage Self-Care and Mindfulness

Healthy choices regarding diet, exercise, and sleep have been suggested to contribute to increased wellbeing. Mindfulness also plays a role in promoting wellbeing by focusing on the present moment to reduce anxiety and to reduce sensitivity to emotional triggers. This is an important time of year to encourage these practices via your practice’s intraoffice communication.

Provide Extra paid Time Off

While some clinics may be able to reduce hours of operations during the holidays, most medical facilities keep normal business hours. Often, it’s necessary for staff to carry a heavier workload to accommodate time off taken by coworkers.

Giving your staff every opportunity to survive and thrive during the holiday season will benefit your company’s mission and better serve your patients.

Ready to learn more about how your company can support mental health in the workplace? Arbor Associates is here to help!