(Bloomberg) -- US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy first took bosses to task for making American workers’ lives too stressful. Now, he’s coming after holiday anxieties.
Murthy on Dec. 1 announced a series of online videos in partnership with Calm, a mindfulness app. Called “Mindfulness Tools,” the series of five YouTube videos are designed to target holiday stress and loneliness, among other sources of chaos and instability. Murthy said stressors such as loneliness and instability far predate the Covid-19 pandemic, which only exacerbated existing pain points.
“Easy-to-use mental health tools and practices can help families address stress and strengthen one of the most powerful sources of healing — our relationships with one another,” he said.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the holidays aren’t the most wonderful time of the year for everyone — in fact, they’re among the most stressful, and three in five Americans say holidays negatively impact their mental health. This year, shoppers will have to navigate the current pains of inflation alongside extra spending on holiday gifts, dinners and gatherings. End-of-year evaluations can also lead to increased stress levels, though some companies have begun to do away with the process which is largely viewed as ineffective.
Calm Chief Executive Officer David Ko said in a statement that he hopes the partnership with the nation’s doctor will give people tools to establish good habits for mental health, which is “more important than ever as we head into the holidays and begin a new year.”
Murthy has directed much of his efforts to the worsening mental health crisis in the US. In October, he took managers to task for stressing out their reports, and said workplaces can do better to support workers rather than expect workers to cope individually.
--With assistance from Ella Ceron.
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