We’re all under a lot of stress as the holidays approach and the end of 2020 draws near.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country and lingering signs of an extremely divisive election, holiday traditions may be the first chance for a reset in quite a few months.

And, even though the holidays probably won’t look like they have in years past, there are some ways to help make sure the season is as safe and happy as possible.

Ultimate Guide to Holiday Blues & Stress

Holiday blues


  • Stay informed and remain cautious. COVID fatigue is real, even more so now that the days are shorter and the weather is keeping us inside, but that doesn’t mean we can set aside social distancing and hygiene practices. We should continue to wear masks in public, frequently wash our hands, maintain 6 feet of distance from people who don’t live with you and be outdoors as much as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has many helpful tips and considerations for the holidays, including the risk factors that can contribute to getting and spreading COVID-19.

  • Consider low-risk activities. A standard Zoom call for holiday gathering might not seem appealing nine months into the pandemic, so consider getting creative. Make the video call active, and cook the same recipe or do the same craft project together. If you have a large group, play a game that translates well to a virtual setting.

Staying (physically) away from family and friends during those times when we usually come together is sad, but remember that this is temporary. A small sacrifice now could help prevent someone from getting sick or worse.

If you’re doing any sort of gathering this year—in person or virtually—the potential for a political conversation is high.

Families with political divides don’t necessarily need to avoid those topics, but learn to have constructive conversations instead. If someone with opposing views brings up the subject of politics, instead of getting defensive, try to have empathy and ask questions about their perspective. If you have a family member who is particularly confrontational, practice some calm, nonjudgmental responses before the event.

If you know that it’s best to steer the family away from these kinds of disagreements, plan some nonpolitical conversation starters or activities. If you must, set some ground rules in a nice way, e.g., “This year has been tough for everyone; let’s enjoy each other’s company and focus on the positive.”

However you spend the holidays this year, try to find joy in the little things. This year has been tough, but we can and will get through it together.

Now more than ever, your employees need emotional support and resources. The pandemic has created a whole new set of physical, financial and emotional stressors that have woven their way into the home and workplace.

Hundreds of organizations support their employees through The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Investing in the right EAP to support your employees before, during and after they face adverse events will help them and help you. Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.