Tips on Managing Holiday Stress
Holidays are some of the best times of the whole year. Sometimes holidays are full of happiness, spending time with family and friends. However, in some cases, holidays can be stressful. According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of people report feeling an increase in stress over the holidays. Some holiday stressors that were reported include hosting or attending family gatherings, pressure of buying the right gifts, lack of money and lack of time.
Here is a list of techniques to help students cope with any holiday stress they may be facing this season:
- Practice daily meditation. Studies show that not only can meditation alleviate stress, but it can help prevent it. Daily meditations allow students to catch themselves becoming stressed out and gives them a tool to get rid of it before it becomes unmanageable.
- Be prepared. Students who know what they have to do in advance can eliminate the stress of the unknown. Last minute scrambling and shopping increases unnecessary anxiety.
- Plan fun activities. Students who have stressful activities on the agenda should plan some time for themselves doing something that makes them happy. Pleasurable activities, such as a night out with friends or a spa day, takes the focus off of the stress.
- Develop a manageable budget. Money is a huge stressor for people during the holidays. Students need to know what their financial limitations are. They should not spend money that they don’t have yet. An alternative to pricey gifts are homemade gifts, which are more personal anyway.
- Exercise. Exercise has some direct stress-busting benefits. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Students don’t have to commit to hours of working out to see the benefits. Thirty minutes of physical activity has been known to decrease stress and release tension.
- Check in with themselves. The individual is the only one who knows when he or she needs to take a moment and de-stress. Students who start to notice that their stress levels have increased should take a few minutes to remove themselves from the situation and take a few deep breaths.
Students who notice that their stress has increased may want to speak with a counselor. The Counseling and Testing Center offers students free and confidential counseling. Call the Counseling and Testing Center at 404-413-1640 to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. The Counseling and Testing Center is available for emergencies at any time.
Monday, Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (last appointment at 4 p.m.)
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last appointment at 5 p.m.)