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The Most Joyous Time of the Year

Please Remember:
Unison’s free, confidential counselling hotline is available to help with problems big and small this holiday season.
Visit to learn more.

Although December can be full of cheerful connections with family and friends, it can also be a month that brings a great deal of stress and frustration. The to-do list gets long and your patience gets short. The parties, the shopping, the cooking and the traveling—along with all our normal non-holiday responsibilities—can leave us tired, stressed, and susceptible to low moods and low energy.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you feel the stress is seeping into your celebrations.
Be Realistic
A lot of stress can be managed by letting go of what we think should happen and keeping expectations of ourselves and others manageable. Pace yourself and plan ahead. Before the parties and family gatherings actually begin, decide on your limits—how much you’ll cook or how long you’ll stay—and stick to them.
Also, don’t give into the feeling you must do things the same way you always have. If the old traditions aren’t making you happy and are causing holiday stress, it’s okay to do something different.
Practice Self Care
If you are feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and obligations, take care of yourself by saying ‘No’ and carving out time to refuel. Do what energizes you, and then return to festivities refreshed.
Keep your defences up against the winter flu and holiday stress by sticking to your normal sleeping, exercise and eating routines as much as possible.
Be Present
An anxious mind tends to dwell on things that have gone wrong—or that might. Fight anxiety and stress by being mindful of the moment. Take five minutes, or even just a few deep breaths, and focus on the very moment you are in now; the twinkle of lights, the smell of good food, the smile of an old friend, and let your anxiety slip into the background.
Get Some Light
Even if you don’t suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the short days and gray skies may still be a factor contributing to low moods and stress. Sunlight is one of the things that allow our brains produce the neurotransmitters that help us fight off depression and anxiety. So sit by a window, or put your mittens on and head out to soak up some sunlight when you see it. For more serious cases of SAD, talk to a doctor about light therapy and other treatment options.

Connect with Unison







Access Unison's Assistance Program in four simple steps:

1 Register online with Unison.

2 Contact Unison's Assistance Program at 1-855-9UNISON.

3 Let the counsellor know you are with the Unison Benevolent Fund.

4 Get help.

Still have questions? Check out Frequently Ask Questions and eligibility information —or simply pick up the phone and call the hotline right now at  1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766)
or visit

Unison’s Assistance Program is always free and completely confidential.
All services are provided by Shepell.fgi
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Spread the Word—Support the Work

Unison’s counselling hotline has experienced an enormous increase over the last year, and we expect this winter to be one of our busiest times yet.
Anyone who is a working professional in the Canadian music industry, whether full time or part time, whether freelance or employee, whether musician or administrator, can access professional counselling with a single phone call to 1-855-986-4766.
Please keep on spreading the word to the music workers in your own life, and support the work by making a donation to Unison today.

Created by the Canadian music community,
for the Canadian music community.

PHONE: 416.479.0675

The Unison Benevolent Fund is a Canadian registered charity. Charitable Registration # 80741 4057 RR0001

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Unison Benevolent Fund
55 St. Clair Ave W, Suite 130
Toronto, Ontario M4V 2Y7

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