Bella Winter - Southern Cross Healthcare Head of Workplace Health

Festive or “stresstive”? Southern Cross Healthcare’s wellbeing tips for resilience

Thursday , 21 December 2023 by Carolyn Brooke

Southern Cross Healthcare’s Head of Workplace Health, Bella Winter, is reminding New Zealanders of the importance of prioritising their health and wellbeing as the festive season reaches its peak.

“We call it the festive season, but December can seem more ’stresstive’ at times,” Winter says.

“We’re not just talking about the impact of the extra food and potentially alcohol in festive celebrations but being mindful of the extra stress that comes at this time of the year whether it be from work deadlines, gift buying, family gatherings and social commitment overload.”

Winter’s tips for staying resilient:

  • Being mindful of the false deadlines that we place on ourselves to get things finished or done by Christmas – when in fact these things often could wait until the New Year.
  • Try to prioritise time for yourself, even a 30-minute walk in your lunch break can help to clear your mind, while also being good for your body.
  • Set healthy boundaries - don’t be afraid of saying no. You don’t have to attend every Christmas function you are invited to!
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. When we're well-rested, we're better equipped to handle the challenges that come our way.
  • By taking a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing or meditation, you can train your mind to stay present and calm, even during holiday madness. Not only will this help you stay focused and relaxed, but it can also improve your overall well-being and enjoyment of the season.
  • We understand that the holidays can be a challenging time for many, and maintaining good mental health is crucial.
  • Employee assistance programme provider Raise is owned by Southern Cross Healthcare and will operate throughout December and January. Consults may be free for some New Zealanders either through their employer or health insurance provider. You can access Raise consults either by phone on 0800 SELFHELP (735 343) or online at