As we come out of lock-downs and approach the festivities to celebrate the close of 2021, it is important to remember to practice mental self-care during this busy period.  Remember that it is normal to feel a little stress as the year comes to a close, but it’s important to recognize when you are starting to feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressures.

Seasonal stressors

The end of year marks a busy schedule for many of us, with the anticipation for upcoming festivities, celebrations and events. While we begin black Friday shopping, or celebrating with our friends and family, it is important to not overload and stress ourselves, as the end of year is a time to enjoy and relax (Beyond Blue, 2021).

While we take the time to reflect upon what we have accomplished this year, keep in mind that the COVID pandemic has brought upon a heightened level of uncertainty. So we can’t put ourselves under too much pressure if we fell short of some of the goals and expectations that we set for ourselves.

Symptoms of stress

Symptoms of stress may be experienced either emotionally, or physically. Emotional symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, easily agitated, feeling bad about yourself, or even avoiding social interactions. Physical symptoms can include headaches, nausea, or insomnia.

It is important to observe when you are starting to potentially show symptoms of stress before they have the potential to spiral out of control, leading burnout, or even injury. We have included a number of tips to manage stress below.

Managing stress

For minor stress relief, we have compiled and are sharing a list of personal exercises below (Black Dog Institute, 2020). Feel free to find a method that works for you:

  • Breathe: Take 10 deep breaths and focus on the air moving through you
  • Talk: Share your feelings with your friends and family
  • Listen: Listen to whatever music you feel is needed to calm you down
  • Laugh: Laughing helps improving your immune system and smooth tension
  • Journal: Write a journal entry so you are able to see your thoughts on paper
  • Wiggle: Your toes, nose and fingers to promote circulation
  • Stop and reflect on your achievements: Reflect what you’ve achieved, it is important to go a good job, but it is also important to be happy and content

If you need further assistance managing your mental wellbeing, Sonic HealthPlus has Psychologist Services available to help you. Our psychologists are medical specialists who have specific expertise and knowledge of the workplace.


Beyond blue. Media releases. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2021, from

Black Dog Insitute. (2020). Mindfulness in Everyday Life [Fact sheet].


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Please note: Patients who attend for their medical assessment presenting with flu-like symptoms or have recently travelled from a COVID hotspot may be turned away.

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