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Amid the joy of the holiday season, many of us also experience feelings of stress or isolation.

Also, there can be a sense of uncertainty as many things remain out of our control. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. That's why we gathered these simple tools to help you create more calm, hope and connection and handle difficult feelings through the holidays, the new year and beyond.

You can find practical support offered by our dedicated team of work-life and well-being experts in the sections below. You can start by assessing how you’re feeling, then explore the blog posts, videos and audio to learn more. Be sure to check back through the new year, as we add more to the page.

I feel...

Stressed or overwhelmed. I need more calm and space.

Burned out. I need more energy, rejuvenation and balance.

Worried or frustrated. I need more peace and stability.

Sad or languishing. I need more comfort and hope.

Disconnected. I need more genuine connection and to feel more meaning and purpose.

Not even sure where to begin. I need to identify my needs or just want to explore my well-being further.

I need additional support.

I feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Do you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Do you feel like your mind won't turn off? When under a significant amount of stress, you may find it difficult to concentrate, even on small tasks. Stress may even lead you to feel paralyzed. By recognizing what you can and cannot control, and practicing some research-based problem-solving skills, you can more easily handle difficult feelings. Then, you can focus on the joyful and important things around you.

How to tame emotional eating 2 MIN. READ

Many of us turn to food to feel comfort or relieve stress. Current events may increase our desire to go to food as a solution. But there are other ways to decrease stress and enjoy your daily life.

Loosen Up: A Short Chair Yoga Routine 15 MIN. WATCH

Are you looking for a quick way to release tension, relieve anxiety and reduce stress? Gentle chair yoga is a quick, easy way to accomplish all three while leaving you refreshed and focused on your day. All you need is a chair and a few minutes.

Guided body scan 5 MIN. LISTEN

Give yourself a moment to relax and cultivate more grace as you are guided through this 5-minute body scan. You’ll notice how unwinding your body can calm your mind and release stress and anxiety.

Life beyond your caregiving role 4 MIN. READ

We all want to feel like we have a purpose in life. Some caregivers find their purpose in caregiving, but many do not. Instead, many caregivers accept the caregiver role out of a sense of duty, loyalty and love.

Symptoms of Stress and Relaxation Techniques 3 MIN. READ

People respond to stress and anxiety in different ways. With some research-based tools, you can learn to manage these feelings and increase your calm.

Real talk: Stress 57 MIN. WATCH

At this roundtable-style discussion, therapists from UK HR Work+Life Connections will answer real questions about stress, its effects and how you can manage it daily.

Embracing "good enough" choices 2 MIN. READ

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by everyday decision-making? Next time, you can try "satisficing." Learn about this mental hack for getting things done.

A Meditation for Slowing Down 10 MIN. LISTEN

Health coach Jackie Carroll recently joined host Jakob Hester on the "Becoming Wildly Resilient" podcast to talk about slowing down. She recorded this 10-minute meditation to help you practice slowing down.

Back to Nutritional Basics 2 MIN. WATCH

As humans, we are quite good at overcomplicating things. A lot of this can be attributed to the many choices the modern world provides us. It’s no wonder healthful eating feels impossible to many of us.

Budgeting for the Holidays: How to Avoid Breaking the Bank 13 MIN. READ

For many, the holidays are often a time spent with loved ones, your favorite home-cooked meals and gift-giving. But, the holidays can also be a stressful financial time if unprepared.

I feel burned out.

If you feel like your tank is empty and you are deeply exhausted physically and emotionally, you may be experiencing burnout. It is often related to constant and considerable demands at work, home, or everyday life—possibly even a combination of these things. You may feel like you just can't manage everything, and you've now lost the motivation to make an effort. Even though you may feel like you can't do one more thing, consider this an invitation toward self-care that may help you feel more balanced and rejuvenated while you work through the sources of your burnout. Here are a few quick ways to get started.

Build your own self-compassion meditation 4 MIN. READ

Practicing self-compassion can help reduce burnout, anxiety, depression, plus increase life satisfaction, happiness and self-confidence. Learn how you can create your own self-compassion meditation.

Completing your body's stress response cycle 4 MIN. READ

When you face anything the brain perceives as a threat, stress is the body's natural response. Here are some ways to get through stress and avoid burnout.

Aromatherapy for better sleep 2 MIN. READ AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO

Studies show that on average most adults get about 6 hours of sleep per night. Sleep impacts our physical health, emotional well-being, work performance and overall safety. Learn how to use aromatherapy to reduce stress and get more zzzzzs.

Exercising safely 3 MIN. READ AND OPTIONAL VIDEO

An important way to fend off burnout is physical activity. Physical activity is not just going to the gym. It could also be walking or jogging, dancing, playing with your kids or grandkids, swimming, or hiking. The important point is that you move, and you keep moving.

Caregiver burnout 35 MIN. LISTEN

Caregiver burnout leads to fatigue, anxiety, depression, resentment and a sense of hopelessness. Learn how to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout and what you can do to prevent it through self-care.

Guided meditation for ease 5 MIN. LISTEN

Gift yourself a moment to be present as you follow this 5-minute guided mediation. Give yourself permission to build trust and tune in to where hope grows.

Kitchen burnout 5 MIN. READ

After a full day of work, educating, caregiving and more, creating a meal can be a struggle mentally and physically. Here are some suggestions for ways to make the task less daunting.

I feel worried or frustrated.

Events of the past two years have brought on unusually high amounts of uncertainty, worry and frustration. Staying on high alert can interfere with everyday functioning. If you're having trouble managing daily routines, or maybe feeling as though you're consumed with frustration and worry, you're not alone. The links below offer practical support to help you feel more grounded and find more peace and stability in the toughest of times.

Circle of control: A tool for rumination and worry 7 MIN. WATCH

Things like the pandemic changing many of our regular activities can cause you to crave some semblance of control. When you focus on the areas you can control, you reduce anxiety, offering yourself the self-compassion that can be a comfort amid the worry and stress.

Is it worry or anxiety? Detecting the differences 23 MIN. WATCH

We all struggle with life's concerns. But when is it worry and when is it anxiety? How do your mind and body react differently, and how do you address each?

Real talk: Anxiety 59 MIN. WATCH

At this roundtable-style discussion, therapists from UK HR Work+Life Connections will answer real questions about anxiety, its effects and how you can manage it.

Webinar: Money Aside, Are You Financially Well? 29 MIN. WATCH

Financial wellness is about more than just making money and using it wisely; it's also about understanding and accepting the truth of your financial life.

I feel sad or am languishing.

Most people go through periods of sadness and grief, but the loss of friends, family and a whole lot of things we used to be able to do regularly has been especially challenging. If you're feeling down, or even a sense of stagnation or emptiness, you're not alone. The events of the past two years have left many feeling particularly gloomy or like they are muddling through their days. The links below offer strategies to help you cultivate more hope and comfort.

Laughter IS the best medicine 11 MIN. WATCH

A good laugh has great short-term benefits on both your mental and physical health, including reducing stress and anxiety. Learn how laughter impacts the body and discover ways you can make laughter a part of your daily life.

Coping with grief: what is it and how do we deal with it? 4 MIN. READ

Many of us have experienced some form of grief, and it presents unique challenges in many aspects of our lives. Here are some tips and ideas to keep you resilient as you process your own feelings during holidays and beyond.

Dealing with depression during coronavirus 4 MIN. READ

When we experience loss or grief, we go through an internal process which involves making sense of and coming to terms with that loss. Part of that process results in experiencing depression.

Real talk: Depression 55 MIN. WATCH

At this roundtable-style discussion, therapists from UK HR Work+Life Connections will answer real questions about depression, its effects and how you can manage it.

Letting Go of an All-or-Nothing Mentality 5 MIN. READ

Are you a black-or-white thinker that leaves little room for grey? Maybe you find yourself getting discouraged easily, or even giving up on, something you intended to do when you couldn't do it to the maximum? You might have an all-or-nothing mentality.

Hopeful Things This Holiday Season 3 MIN. READ

Hope is contagious. While the pandemic continues to impact us all, it also does not have to take up all the space in your life. We can embrace it as it is and find meaningful ways to celebrate.

Are You an Emotional Spender? 8 MIN. READ

Emotional spending is a type of behavior that causes people to spend money whenever they're experiencing negative or positive feelings. Generally, it's used to fulfill whatever emotional needs the person has at the time.

Collecting Ordinary Jewels 9 MIN. WATCH

With a little intention and skill, you can take some seconds here and there each day to weave a handful of simple jewels into the fabric of your brain, your being, and your life. Little moments of ease, pleasure, calm, determination, joy, insight, and caring.

I feel disconnected.

“We've had to change how we interact with each other multiple times over the past two years, challenging how we connect and feel connected. Even though we may constantly be in touch on Zoom, Facetime or social media, we may still feel disconnected and alone (even in a house full of people). So, how can you increase meaningful engagement with others as you adjust to remote and hybrid environments? These resources can help point you toward authentic connection wherever you are.

Understanding loneliness 4 MIN. READ

Forming bonds with each other is a natural desire. Recent events have made connections with others more difficult, even placing additional strains on existing connections. Fortunately, we have some creative solutions to help you live a more connected life.

Moment of appreciation meditation 19 MIN. LISTEN

All of us deserve the peace, harmony and space to foster acceptance and resilience, both individually and collectively. Take a few moments to sit in reflection as you're guided through a meditation for unity and appreciation for one another.

Nature Meditation and Haiku Writing Exercise 5 MIN. READ

Meditation and mindfulness help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Creative practices like expressive writing can create an increased sense of psychological well-being. This season, try combining meditation outdoors with a spirit of play and creativity.

No one is an island: avoiding isolation 18 MIN. WATCH

It is vital to stay socially connected as we navigate physical distancing. It can be easy to feel stressed, anxious and alone. Learn ways we can maintain community and face these challenges together.

Adapting relationships during physical distancing 29 MIN. WATCH

Whether you are confined with family or you are alone and away from family and friends, relationships can be nurtured and enjoyed. Learn helpful ideas for managing relationships throughout this pandemic and beyond.

Another Holiday to Remember 4 MIN. READ

As we face another holiday to remember, take time to celebrate you and all that you have achieved this year. Focus on what you enjoy about the season and let gratitude lead you.

Connecting with Colleagues and Giving Praise 1 MIN. READ

It is important to take time to connect with our co-workers and show appreciation to each other for all that we contribute to the University of Kentucky. Technology is an essential part of the modern workplace and has made this easier than ever.

Tools for Hosting Trivia at Work 2 MIN. READ

Playing trivia as a group is a great way to take a break and have fun together. Especially while some co-workers work on-site and others work remotely, trivia over Zoom is easy to set up and engage everyone at the same time.

I’m not sure where to begin.

Have you been experiencing a feeling that something “isn’t quite right,” but you just can’t put your finger on it? You aren’t the only one. Fortunately, we have tools to help you identify those feelings so you can better address your needs. And if you just want to explore your well-being further, we’ve got resources for you too.

Becoming Wildly Resilient

This podcast series, released the second Tuesday of every month, explores a variety of well-being topics to help you thrive at work, home and beyond. You can find it here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Identifying feelings and needs 4 MIN. READ

When we can identify and name a troubling feeling, we can better calm our response to it. Learn how you can use this technique to cultivate a more peaceful, resilient brain.

2:22 p.m. Monday Meditation 5 MIN. WATCH

Take a few minutes out of your week to relax and recharge every Monday at 2:22 p.m. If you miss it, don't worry! You can access it on Facebook at any time.

Discovering and Living Your Values 9 MIN. READ

Discovering our values and then living into them can connect you with more resilience, meaning, and well-being, even during difficult days.

Two Things Can Be True: Holding Contrasting Emotions 12 MIN. WATCH

You may sometimes experience multiple emotions at the same time that don’t quite fit together. Learn how you can hold these contrasting emotions. You can also follow more Untangle Tuesday chats every week at 2:22 pm on Facebook.

We're here for you

Seeking additional support for your well-being in a more personalized way? Human Resources has an in-house team of dietitians, exercise specialists, health coaches, mental health clinicians and social workers ready to meet you wherever you are. Learn more about the ways we can support you by clicking the links below.

Mental health
Personal finance
Personal resilience
Physical activity
Flexible work
Working parents
Elder care
Employee engagement