Dec: Happy Holidays? Not for Everyone. You Can Help

In this blog series, we’ve been helping you engage with employees about their benefits using month-by-month topics, along with messaging and ideas proven to grab attention. Plus, throughout the series, we’ve shared downloadable templates and examples that save you the brain drain so you can get started quickly.

This blog issue focuses on December, but our downloadable calendar gives you a full 12 months of content.

Dec: Holidays? Not for Everyone. You Can Help.

Even during the simpler, pre-pandemic holidays, 88% of a 2,000-person survey said the holidays are the most stressful time of the year. A third said they don’t even enjoy the holidays anymore. And that can be depressing. So, sure…spread good cheer, but remember to also spread news about employee mental health benefits that can help reduce stress and boost moods.

Message #1: Spread Good Cheer, Gratitude, and Charity

For many, the mood is festive, and it can be a great time to bring employees together. Instead of one big holiday event, host several well-promoted mini parties during the season, throughout all departments, regions, locations, etc. Employees can choose to take part in one or all the events, and the focus isn’t on a specific tradition, religion, or culture.

  • Host a cookie party. Encourage people to bring in their favorite traditional cookie, whether it’s based on a holiday, culture, or family recipe.
  • Have a catered lunch brought in. Offer “mocktails” and encourage people to make toasts.
  • Hold a gift drive for a local charity people have voted on. It feels good to do good, and people like to be part of a group cause.
  • Create a gratitude board (online or in-person) and have managers start the postings.

Message #2: Happy Hectic Holidays: Take Time for Self-Care

This holiday survey was taken when life seemed simpler, yet even then the numbers overwhelmingly showed how stressful the season can feel to most people. In addition to hectic schedules, the dark and dreary weather in many parts of the country can impact people’s mental health. This is an ideal time to remind employees of benefits that can help.

  • Most likely, your EAP is communicating the holiday message of mental health. See if there’s a webinar you can promote, or any other seasonal communications.
  • Remind employees of any free counseling sessions available through the EAP and point those enrolled to resources through medical plans.
  • Be direct in the “you are not alone” message. The holidays can feel very isolating for some. Cite statistics showing how prevalent this feeling is.
  • You can find free resources, too. Magellan Health has a free resource page on the topic, including downloadable materials.

Hopefully, the togetherness that comes with message #1 will lessen the stress and loneliness involved in message #2.

You can find other blogs in this series by typing “year-round calendar” in the search area at the top of our website.

Download the year-round communications calendar — real ideas and examples