Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

This month, ICBA Wellness is focused on reflection – considering what we’ve learned as a way to help us look ahead to 2022.

Christmas is my favourite time of year, but it can be stressful in its own way. It can get pretty busy for an introvert like me – friend and family gatherings, traditional outings, shopping while trying to stick to a budget, etc.

Turns out a lot of people find the holiday season stressful.

The Mayo Clinic offers a series of tips that may be helpful this Christmas:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy, just because it’s a certain time of year.
  • Reach out. If something feels wrong in you, reach out for help – there are lots of websites, your health benefits’ Employee Assistance Plan, and community groups who can help.
  • Be realistic. Life ain’t a Hallmark movie (thank goodness – I could never wear that many scarves), so don’t use that as a measuring stick.
  • Set aside differences. Accept your family and friends as they are.
  • Stick to a budget. Money can’t buy happiness!
  • Plan ahead. Try scheduling in shopping and activities so you’re not bombarded one day with a million things to do.
  • Learning to say no. If you feel overwhelmed, say so.
  • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence only adds to stress.
  • Take a breather. Make time for yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. There is no shame, no stigma, no downside to asking for help!

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.