Podcast Title: Health and Safety to Go!

Episode #: 138:  Keeping Your Holiday Healthy: Tips from CCOHS


Introduction Welcome to Health and Safety to Go, broadcasting from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Host:  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 do it alone when you are entertaining. To ease the load, invite your friends and family to bring a dish or a dessert and make sure to get help with the party clean up.

Don't fret the family. Emotions can 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 the 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.

For more information and tips on keeping your holiday healthy visit ccohs.ca.

Thanks for listening everyone!