Calgary mental health experts offer tips for coping with vacation and pandemic exhaustion

Financial strains, overwhelming demands and another year of living with COVID-19 are affecting people as the holiday season approaches, a Calgary psychologist says, with some experiencing a particular type of burnout.

Krista Beck, a psychologist at the Calgary Counseling Center, recently said that some people experience “burnout while on vacation.”

“This is what happens when people are overwhelmed with the extra demands and expectations associated with preparing for and celebrating the holiday season,” she said.

COVID-19 can add additional pressure.

Beck says when families have differing opinions on mask and vaccine regulations, it can add stress to family gatherings. One way to deal with this, she says, is to set boundaries early on.

“Let people know very clearly what their expectations are and what they agree with,” Beck said.

“Maybe do things on Zoom or over the phone, or maybe meet in a public place if they feel comfortable wearing masks and having a shorter visit, but staying really true. what they think is important and making sure those boundaries are set well in advance of time. ”

Beck says other ways to help protect mental health while on vacation include establishing a routine, not taking too much, staying on a budget, and coping in a healthy way, such as do yoga or keep a journal.

Bryce Barker, a knowledge broker at the Canadian Center on Addiction and Addiction, says that throughout the pandemic, mental health and addiction issues have remained high and as the holidays approach, some people are consuming of drugs and alcohol to cope.

“The best thing to do is take care of yourself and the people around you, if you know someone who may be vulnerable then contact them … finding safe ways to reunite with people in the way that makes sense. ”

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