The holiday season is going to look very different this year. We are all experiencing the weight of COVID fatigue. For many people, whether or not to forego family gatherings to stay safe will result in stress and anxiety. Feelings of isolation will also be magnified at a time where gathering with others is the normal focus. Depression will also manifest as we mourn the loss of the holiday season we were all expecting (and hoping for!)
These emotions can result in some less than healthy behaviors: overconsumption of alcohol and tobacco, decreased physical activity, and weight gain – it is the holidays after all, and comfort food is the one thing we can look forward to . . .
If you are vested in the health of your participants, it is important to help your people navigate this season with balance and serenity. Being a well-being champion for your organization is a great start! Offer up your personal experiences, as well as tools and resources to help them reduce stress levels, ease tension and maintain their healthy habits during this tumultuous time.
Below are some suggestions for themes and resources you can promote to your participants over the next 6 weeks.
Feeling overwhelmed and unable to accomplish all that you would like is a sign that you might be stressed. Encourage your participants to recognize and find ways to cope with their stress by participating in the Managing Stress or Building Resilience Interactive Learning Programs.
These blogs may also be helpful. Link directly to them in a news and announcement or even on your landing page!
10 Ways To Relax Right Now
5 Things To Consider Before Planning A Family Celebration
Infographic: 10 Ways To Avoid Getting Sick When Traveling
Substance Use, Or Abuse?
Infographic: 5 Ways To Boost Your Immune System
9 Ways To De-Stress Right Now
How to Handle Holiday Overload:
Mindfulness practices can be very helpful for your participants to be able to take a break from the hustle and bustle and refocus on themselves. Consider using a “Feeling the Stress of the Holiday Bustle” theme. Encourage your participants to take part in daily activities to manage stress levels.
Here are a few Mindfulness Practices in Motivation Alliance that can help your participants feel more relaxed.
- This Resting Moment (6:47)
- Breath Creates Strength (9:04)
- Loving Kindness (10:07)
- Breathe! (11:00)
- The Art of Mindful Eating (11:24)
- Finding Your Focus (15:57)
- A Body Scan (16:00)
Stress can also lead to increased tension in your body. Consider a “Move it to Release it” theme and promote different Daily Pursuits that promote walking, stretching, yoga poses and general movement to release this muscle tension.
Eating healthy during the holidays can be a struggle. Especially when stress levels are high. Promote “Eating Smart during the Holidays” and these blogs to help participants find and use strategies that help them continue to choose healthy options and moderately partake in holiday splurges without feeling deprived.
Check out these helpful blogs:
Leave Nothing Left to Chance: How to Plan Ahead for Healthy Choices:
Video: How to Enjoy Holiday Dinner Without Gaining Weight:
Don’t Give In To Holiday Weight Gain:
Healthy Holiday Baking Tips
Looking for some new recipe ideas? Encourage your participants to search for healthy and delicious holiday recipes by Edamame in Motivation Alliance. From the left menu, click recipes and begin the search!
During the holidays, consider running a Maintain Don’t Gain program for your members. This can be set up in your Achievement Program feature – reach out to your Account Manager for help setting this up!
After the holidays, consider promoting a weight loss challenge or the Weight Management Interactive Learning Program to help participants get back on track.
Most importantly be the role model! Be the change you wish to see in your organization. Find time to practice mindfulness and share your experience with others. Recognizing and vocalizing your stress can help others recognize theirs. Use the Chronicles feature to connect with your participants and share your strategies and tips that help you find balance.
Engage your users with impactful offering and be a well-being champion for your population this holiday season.
Together we can get through this!