Health and Safety Report
Volume 13, Issue 12

On Topic

Keeping Your Holidays Healthyprint this article

The holidays can be a special time of year, with lots of socializing, family gatherings, and time honoured traditions. However for some, the financial, emotional and physical demands of the season can be stressful, cause anxiety and even trigger depression.

The pressure to create the perfect holiday and the seemingly endless "to do" list - shopping, cleaning, cooking and entertaining - can be overwhelming. Being realistic, planning ahead and asking for support can help prevent stress and depression from derailing your holiday.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy and make the most of the holiday.

Be realistic about your expectations for the holidays and what you can accomplish. In your efforts to create the perfect holiday you can take on too much and end up feeling overwhelmed. As your family changes and grows, you may have to be flexible with some of your traditions and be open to creating new ones, such as holding your gathering on a different day to accommodate your adult children and family.

Plan and pre-empt stress. Get organized by planning your menus and making shopping and "to do" lists well ahead of time. Designate specific days for shopping, cleaning, baking, visiting friends and other activities to avoid last minute rushing around.

Ask for help. Don't think you have to go it alone when you are entertaining. To ease the load, invite your friends and family to bring a dish or a dessert. Make sure to get help with the party clean up. Many hands lighten the load.

Don't fret the family. Emotions often run high during the holidays and family conflicts can intensify - especially if you're in close quarters for several days. Try to get enough sleep to help you cope with any potential tensions and avoid experiencing feelings of depression, irritability, and frustration. If spending time with family is stressful for you, limit the amount you spend with them. Be sensitive to others who may also be feeling the stress and depression of the holidays.

Reach out. Spending the holidays alone can be hard and may leave you feeling lonely and sad, with a sense of being disconnected. Make an effort to spend some time with a friend, or connect with a friend or your family by phone.

Volunteer. Lend a hand and lift your spirits. Food banks and other charitable organizations often need extra help this time of year and volunteering is a good way to meet new friends while helping those in need.

Maintain your healthy habits. How well you take care of yourself will have a big impact on how you manage emotionally. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.

Relax and recharge. When you are exhausted, you get run down and increase your risk for stress. Take care of yourself by carving out some down time each day to do something you enjoy that will help you clear your mind and relax. Even a few minutes of time for yourself can help refresh and calm you. Taking control of your time helps you feel empowered and can help prevent you from feeling melancholy.

With a plan and a strategy for coping with the challenges of the holiday season you can replace stress and distress with fun and festivities.

Download our Here’s to the Holidays and Your Health infographic.

More holiday tips

Partner News

WHMIS 2015: A Big Deal for Small Businesses print this article

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, better known as WHMIS, is Canada’s comprehensive system for providing health and safety information on the safe use of hazardous products in workplaces. WHMIS changed on February 11, 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS is a worldwide system and provides a common set of rules for classifying hazardous products, common rules for labels, and a standard format for safety data sheets (SDSs).

What The New WHMIS means for Small Business Owners

While WHMIS 2015 includes new harmonized criteria and requirements, the roles and responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers have not changed. Employers must ensure that there is workplace-specific education and training in place that reviews the hazardous products in their workplace and safe work procedures.

As a small business you may not have the staff or resources to provide health and safety education or updates to your employees. Health Canada has recognized the burden you may be feeling from yet another thing added to your already long to-do list, and has developed free resource materials to prepare, inform and support smaller enterprises during the WHMIS transition. With these tools, small businesses can ensure their employees are educated and have the information they need to work safely with hazardous products.

Take advantage of these free resources:


The World of Work is Changing. What's Next?print this article

The Changing World of Work is a national event that will bring together subject experts, employers, and representatives from labour and governments to share their knowledge and experience around current and emerging health and safety issues.

The stage is set for February 29 – March 1, 2016 in Vancouver, where the CCOHS 5th national forum will deliver two days of inspiration, innovations and discussion featuring an exciting roster of world class speakers and topics.

  • Globally recognized humanitarian advocate and former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders James Orbinski delivers the the keynote presentation Creating the Space to be Human
  • Human and organization performance expert, Dr. Todd Conklin, Human Factors/Performance
  • Acclaimed work-life balance researcher, writer, and speaker Dr. Linda Duxbury, Dealing with the Tsunami of Demographic Change
  • In 2014, EU-OSHA interviewed almost 50,000 establishments in 36 countries. Xabier Irastorza provides an overview of the study and the findings in his presentation, Findings from the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2)
  • What changes, why and who’s driving the change in firms that make large improvements in workplace health and safety? Dr. Lynda Robson discusses the implications of "breakthrough change" for professional practice in the workplace and possible answers emerging from an ongoing study at the Institute for Work & Health that is exploring the process of “breakthrough change.”
  • Troy Winters, Senior Health and Safety Officer with CUPE, examines a broader perspective on participatory ergonomics that includes the concepts of the policy and workplace committees, union participation, and the benefits of involving all levels of the organization throughout the process – from planning to gathering data to implementing change
  • York University Professor Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé discusses the challenge that global warming poses to the chain of processes that comprise work, employment and training in key Canadian industries and professions, and how decision-makers understand and respond to these challenges
  • Theresa Shaw of the Calgary Police Service presents a case study of her organization’s implementation of the Road to Mental Readiness program (R2MR)
  • Krystle van Hoof of the Institute of Gender and Health will talk about sex and gender, and why they matter in the workplace

With The Changing World of Work only two and a half months away, you’ll want to book your stay at the Vancouver Marriot Pinnacle Hotel Downtown to receive the special Forum 2016 hotel rate. You’ll be staying right at the conference venue and close to the action. This special rate expires at the end of January.

Register for the Forum and book your room right from the CCOHS website.

There will be simultaneous French language interpretation available.


Last Word

Got a Nose for News from CCOHS?print this article

Did you know that you can get a double dose of CCOHS in your e-mail inbox? In addition to the Health and Safety Report, we publish the Liaison newsletter that serves up all the news on CCOHS products and services. From the newest e-courses to the freshest infographics, Liaison delivers the latest on CCOHS’ health and safety resources, six times a year. If you’re a worker, employer, health and safety health and safety professional, or simply have an interest in workplace health and safety, Liaison is for you.


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