Resilience During the Most Wonderful (and Stressful!) Time of the Year
Did you know that December is known as one of the most stressful times of the year? December tests our resilience as the most stressful month of the year. This contrasts with an image of being the most wonderful time of the year, yet both can be true. December can be wonderful and stressful!
Now is the time to emphasize the importance of resilience. At CARE Counseling, we recognize the need to support practitioner resiliency. Therapists participate in resiliency training to enhance their emotional well-being to show up at their best for their clients. This month we have the privilege of being grounded in Dr. Thomas Skovholt’s research at the University of Minnesota on practitioner resiliency.
There is often an increase in end-of-the-year pressures at work and home. Mental health is often impacted by work during the most stressful months. Heavy workload, long hours, and lack of support–feeling like there is no one to talk to are factors. This combined with less daylight, shorter days, an increase in overall stressors, and turning to sedentary activities, food, or substances to cope can disrupt routines and impact mental health.
Stress impacts those of all ages, identities, and states of life, but burnout is especially high for Generation Z (ages 11-26), Millennials (ages 18-33), and women. These groups have entered the workforce during a very stressful time—amid a global pandemic and times of rising inflation. This is combined with stressors such as worries like finances, health, human rights, discrimination, personal safety, and violence. Loss of control and instability are often prevalent within these themes.
We need to take the lead and seek mental health support, especially as leaders in our industry to model how to build resiliency. This includes small business owners, supervisors, and parents to help set the standard that it is OK for your employees, supervisees, and children to work with a therapist.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC