It’s the most wonderful time of the year, except if you are completely stressed. Unfortunately, stress is something that has become synonymous with the holiday season and it can affect your home and work life.

For people who already have trouble with a work – life balance, it can be particularly daunting with even more put on your plate at home and work with deadlines, parties and presents.

Some experts have said this time of the year can even have an effect on the brain by releasing a certain type of hormone when you are too stressed. The hormone it releases can disrupt your sleep, suppress your immune system and cause depression and anxiety.

Here are some ways you can deal with stress during the holiday season.

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1.     Talk about stress and your mental health

One of the most important ways of dealing with stress is being able to talk to someone about it. In the workplace, this could be a coworker you trust, your supervisor or boss or a shop steward or business agent.

2.     Know you are not alone

Statistics show that 1 in 5 Canadian adults will suffer from a mental health disorder in their lifetime. Chances are if you are dealing with stress, other people in your workplace are as well. There are many resources across Canada that are there for you year round if you feel you need to talk to a professional about mental health issues listed here.

3.     Your mental health should matter to your employer

Mental health issues cost the Canadian economy over $50 billion dollars per year, and more than $6 billion of that is from lost productivity costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism. If you are a good employee, your employer will want to keep your around. Unions such a Teamsters 362 have been fighting for better mental health support for workplaces, and are also a resource to reach out to if you feel your employer is ignoring this issue in the workplace.

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4.     Keep perspective

Chances are during the holiday season you are going to be pulled in a lot of different directions, and it is important to know you can’t do it all. A recent study revealed that millennials in particular feel this stress attending 24 events between November to New Years eve. Set limits to the amount of events you will attend and the amount you will spend during the holiday season.

5.     Take time out for yourself

You are going to be pulled a million different directions both inside and outside of the workplace, so it is important to remember to prioritize some alone time. Whether it is going for a walk or taking a yoga class, make sure you have some time away from the holiday buzz.