SUPPORT

Managing holiday expectations

If you start to notice that the approaching holiday season seems like a bundle of stress and is impacting your daily life, reach out to the mySupport team for help

Young man and his dog playing on floor with Christmas tree in background. He is giving a small gift box to the dog, who is wearing bow tie.

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

This content is provided to Johns Hopkins employees through a partnership between mySupport and Resources for Living.

Take a minute to close your eyes and think about your holiday expectations. What comes to mind?

We're bombarded with things such as Hallmark movies, TV shows, and commercials about warm and cozy family events. We all have pictures in our heads of what the holidays are supposed to look like.

Some of us grew up in homes where the holidays looked picture-perfect, or we remember them as being picture-perfect and we try to re-create them. And some of us didn't. It is important to remember that everyone has their own story and experience, and the holiday season is not always a happy time for everyone.

  • You might be grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing your first, or 10th, holiday without them.
  • You might be mourning the loss of a relationship or feeling lonely.
  • You might be feeling a little depressed.
  • You might not be able to see your family for the second year in a row because of the pandemic.
  • Your family might not be good for your mental health.
  • You might have financial stresses about how you will afford that perfect present.

No matter how you are feeling, give yourself some grace. Review these resources for tips to help you cope:

If you start to notice that the approaching holiday season seems like a bundle of stress and is impacting your daily life, reach out to the mySupport team for help. The mySupport program is a free and confidential resource for all employees and their household members. It offers free short-term counseling, connection to longer-term support, child care and elder care resources, legal and financial resources, and concierge resources.

Access the program's services—including the newly launched Talkspace, a digital option to receive employee assistance program services via text or televideo—at resourcesforliving.com (username and password: JHU or JHHS, depending on your affiliation) or call 443-997-7000, option 2.

MySupport is a 24/7, 365 days a year resource staffed with master's-level clinicians. So even on a holiday, the team will be there.

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