Let’s Get Real About the Holiday Blues

Blog Post
Posting date: 21 December 2022

These days our workplaces are more inclusive and welcoming than ever. One of the most heartening signs of this relatively recent shift is the de-stigmatization of mental health issues and increased openness around our employees' wellbeing. This is especially crucial during these winter months. 

For many, the holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. But for those who struggle with Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD), often referred to as the “holiday blues”, this can be an especially difficult time—let alone getting into the holiday spirit.  

At Harvey Nash, our mission is to improve the lives of our workers. And we have great news for anyone who may be struggling this time of year or anyone who is just looking to improve their overall wellbeing.  

Interviews and Negotiations Take a Notable Shift

One of the few silver linings to the recent pandemic and the Great Resignation that followed was that it created more communication and collaboration between employers and their teams. 

This was a time when employers were especially struggling. Many businesses lost employees at alarming rates, and hiring new talent was more difficult than ever. This set the stage for a reckoning between workers and employers. In the past few years, many of our client's interviews have gone through a notable shift. There is more of a focus on what candidates need and what employee benefits are most important to them.  

It has been great to see more candidates getting real and standing up for what they need—many sharing a common request for better benefits and access to mental wellness resources.  

Employers Got the Message

When workers spoke, many employers got the message and made mental wellness benefits a priority. And these days, there has never been more resources for employees seeking help and resources to improve their wellness

Employers have been responding in kind, adding resources to help their employees feel supported and well throughout the year. Some of the most common mental wellness resources include

- Remote work options 
Yoga and meditation in the workplace 
- Increased or unlimited paid time off 
- A stronger workplace culture and stronger leadership 
- Insurance plans with improved mental health resources (such as telehealth and other virtual mental health solutions) 
Employee assistance programs and access to therapy 
Candid conversations about workload and employee burnout 

Employers have taken other steps toward helping their employees improve their mental well-being over the past few years. They've implemented these new programs, created channels for communication between workers, and improved employee benefits.  

Candid Discussions re: The Holiday Blues and Mental Health  

In addition to improved benefits, the modern workplace is having more real, candid conversations around mental wellbeing. There are two big developments that are helping us better understand mental health and provide help for those in need: 

  1. There's been an extra emphasis on discretion and confidentiality in the workplace. This is crucial for setting the expectation that the questions and concerns of workers are private and that no one will be discriminated against when asking for help.  

  2. Overall, employers and their teams are working to break down the stigma of mental health issues. For years, this stigma prohibited those who were suffering from seeking help. Often an environment of acceptance and understanding can be incredibly encouraging to anyone who might otherwise feel alone or isolated in their struggles.  

An excellent example of the progress of acceptance and de-stigmatization in how many people discuss mental health in the workplace is Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD). Many workers these days remember the first discussions they had regarding SAD. While incredibly common, conversations around SAD only recently became more commonplace.  

And many of those initial conversations might not have gone very well these days, we know much more about SAD and how it can affect many workers in many different ways. Now, much more workers and their employers regard SAD as commonplace and can have frank, useful conversations about addressing this condition. 

Your Workplace Community and Mental Health Benefits  

What mental health benefits are most valuable to you? Are there resources you wish were available at your current job or in your next role? We'd love to hear from you to learn more. You can reach out to us at Harvey Nash USA