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Hacks to help you beat the holiday blues this December!

12 December 2023 YuLife South Africa

While the festive season is generally thought of as the happiest time of the year, for many that is not the case.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64% of people living with a mental illness felt that their condition worsened during the holidays. For those who have lost a loved one, this period may dredge up some painful memories. Others may have difficult relationships with their loved ones and the extended time spent may be particularly stressful. The festive season can also bring a raft of financial pressures with it. This can lead to anxiety and other mental health challenges that make starting the new year difficult.

Jaco Oosthuizen, Managing Director of YuLife South Africa and co-founder of the YuLife group, a financial services provider on a mission to inspire life and promote wellbeing, says “In recognising the stress and loneliness that can accompany this season, employers have a valuable opportunity to proactively support their employees, particularly those grappling with holiday depression.”

YuLife is an insurance provider, who is transforming traditional insurance into life-enhancing experiences that every employee will value and use daily. YuLife has found some useful holiday hacks to get you through a difficult festive season:

Stick to your budget:
The festive season often comes with a lot of financial strain. There may be bonuses for some, but for most there can be the added pressure of buying gifts, feeding lots of people and paying for holidays and activities. These festive season costs can stack up very quickly and if you are not disciplined, you could find yourself in a difficult situation come January. Creating and sticking to a budget can help keep you afloat at the beginning of the year and there are even apps and resources that can help you manage your finances quickly and easily.

Oosthuizen says, “We very quickly noticed just how much of a role financial pressure plays in mental wellbeing. To combat this, we have partnered with services providers to find helpful ways for users to boost their financial literacy through our app without becoming overwhelmed.”

Out of routine:
As anyone who has had the pleasure of raising a child will tell you, routines are a godsend. For many, having structure in your day brings a sense of order, control, and tranquility. The holiday season often disrupts this routine, as spontaneity becomes the order of the day. This can mean that gym routines, healthy eating habits and good sleep hygiene all get lost or dwindled, which has a domino effect on your wellbeing. Try to be mindful - you do not need to be as strict as you may be during the year but keep an eye on how much sleep you are getting. Take a few strolls with your loved ones and try not to overindulge too much.

Find your community:
While the holidays may be a difficult time for you, it's important for your mental health to reach out to people and have a few social interactions. Research indicates that people are happier when they have experienced a social interaction with someone. This interaction can be with your co-worker, a neighbor, or a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. While you may not have your friends or family with you, try and find a community who you can chat to or spend time with to beat the holiday blues.

The festive season can be a stressful time for all of us, however it is also a time when you can reflect on 2023, spend time with friends and family, revitalise your wellbeing and start listing your goals for the new year!

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