Bryson Blog

Mind Yourself and Your Wellness This Holiday Season

The holiday season is supposed to be full of joy and cheer but that is not how everyone experiences it throughout the entire holiday season. Taking care of your own wellness is paramount. Here we share some of the most common holiday triggers and some tips to help reduce holiday stress, depression and anxiety.

Taking Care of Your Mental Wellness during the Holidays

Experiencing Family Overload

As much as we may like to believe, not everyone gets along with the members of their family. You may also be asked to participate in things or contribute more time than you can handle. Advice to manage this is to stay grounded in what you can commit to and what you can not. Set boundaries to keep yourself well and share those with your family. It is unlikely that everyone in your family will understand and just be okay knowing that you are taking care of yourself.

If necessary, set limits for visiting time. There is no rule that states you need to stay all day and evening. If it seems too much, only visit for a couple hours instead. And if you are staying over at another family member’s place during the holidays, be comfortable letting them know that you will be taking some alone time throughout your visit to relax and recharge.

Spending Too Much Money During the Holidays

We all want to make everyone happy during the holidays and the way many people in North America choose to do that is by purchasing gifts. Advertising and social media gets into our minds and has us thinking we need to show our love and appreciation through the latest gadgets and other expensive items. And while there may be that moment of joy when the people in our lives open gifts, the impact is often short-lived. What isn’t though is the incoming credit card bill in January.

A big credit card bill can bring stress and heavy emotion during the darkest month of the year. Instead, take on shifting the conversation this holiday season. Be responsible and do not spend beyond your means. Plan your budget in advance and use cash or debit to avoid the large bill in January.

Feeling Lonely and Isolated

We see in TV shows and movies big families getting together but in reality, there are many people who spend the holidays alone. This can leave a person experiencing isolation and loneliness. Fortunately, there are many free and local holiday activities. Check out a community events calendar where you live and see what is happening there. You can also visit a site like and join a group there. Groups you can find may have a common interest in things like hiking, board games, restaurant-hopping, crafts and many more.

Volunteering is also a great way to get out of the house and shift your mindset during the holidays. Volunteers are often warm and welcoming by nature. Beyond giving back to others, it is an opportunity to meet great people.

Dealing with Loss and Grief

Holidays can be a big reminder of the loss of a loved one. While we may want to keep our feelings quiet to not dampen the mood, it is important to share and be open. There is a good chance others in your circle of family and friends are experiencing similar emotions.

Instead of keeping quiet, acknowledge the season will not be the same without them. Create a new tradition to embrace new beginnings. The new tradition could capture memories of that person or be entirely new. And spend time with supportive and caring people who will give you the space and freedom to be yourself during this time.

Suffering the Affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a real thing. This type of depression is related to the change in season. There is less sunshine during the winter season. The sun rises later, sets earlier and there are many of the daytime hours with clouds of snow above us. If you are experiencing feeling blue, consider joining a support group. In part, the affect could be as a result of a shortage of Vitamin D and lower levels of activity. Walks, vitamin D supplements and mood lighting may help but we suggest visiting your family physician to talk it over for your specific situation.

Reflecting on the Year that Was

As the year comes to a close, many of us take time to reflect on what has changed over the past year. While we aim to focus on what we accomplished, many get stuck in looking at what did not happen or what we fell short on. If you are heading down that road of negative self talk, take a moment to interrupt it and instead give yourself credit for the things that are going well in your life. Look for even the smallest things. It is the little things that can make a big difference over time.

In this same conversation, it is common to take on setting New Year Resolutions. When setting these resolutions, it is often common to set unrealistic goals that instantly cause added stress and pressure to meet. Instead, take on creating a small and manageable resolution. Take on setting a resolution that begins later in the year (instead of right away on January 1st), or give up creating resolutions at all!

If you are finding yourself stressed and overwhelmed…

Take a moment to note the phone numbers listed below. If you find yourself in a situation where you are stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, reach out to these organizations. It is what they are here for and you are not alone (or they would not exist).

First, if you are in immediate crisis do not hesitate to call 911. That is what the service is there for so if you need it, use it.

Here are some other organizations that are available to you:

From our team at Bryson, we wish you a happy holiday season. Be sure to take care of yourself.

Mind yourself and mind your mental health.

One Thing Auto Garages Need to Consider Today

When was the last time your auto garage reviewed the total value of vehicles you keep on your lot?

I am John Flanagan and I am an Account Executive with Bryson Insurance. My previous experience has provided me with the knowledge to be a valuable partner for auto garage owners. I have a background as a mechanic and still practice on my own vehicles today. Please watch this video as I share the reason I care so much about helping auto garage owners. I also provide one piece of advice garage owners should consider today.

What Do Auto Garage Owners Need to Look at Today3F

If you are a garage shop owner and practice in the care, custody and control of your customer's vehicles it is imperative you obtain a garage policy. Garage liability insurance is part of the policy and includes coverage for the physical damage to a customers' automobile when you are held legally responsible for such damage. As the value of vehicles continues to rise and inside technology continuing to rise in cost to repair, it is important to review your current liability limits in this area. If there is a gap between your limit and the value of vehicles in your care, you may find yourself in a challenging position should damage occur.

It is prudent to sit down and review your current limits today. I am happy to visit you at your shop. Click below to send me an email now and we can set up time to meet. You can also call me directly at 905-426-5003.

Connect with John Flanagan

Do You Need the Peak Inventory Endorsement?

When was the last time you had a conversation with your insurance broker about your inventory limits?

During holiday times throughout the year, businesses will bring on additional inventory to sell throughout the holiday season (not just at Christmas) and naturally forget to advise their insurance broker. If you know your organization carries additional inventory at certain times through the year you may want to check in with the team member charged with overseeing insurance considerations to ensure they are aware to have this conversation with their broker. 

It is important to take this added step and let us know as some of our insurance carriers offer a Peak Season endorsement as part of their extensions of coverage. While these extensions may have restrictions (such as 125% of the average 12-month stock limit) it will still provide added protection in case of a loss while carrying extra goods.

A business may be extremely busy during certain times of the year. In these cases, we find that the extension limit is still insufficient to protect the increased value of inventory. When we discover these situations, we take time to review coverage with our client to ensure insurance protection is aligned with inventory risk.

We are ready to support your business success. Get in touch with our team today to start a conversation.

Connect with a Bryson team member today