Tips for a Stress-free Holiday

The semester is winding down, finals are coming and the holidays are near. For some, that may mean going home, which may be stressful. Maybe your family and friends have high expectations of your time while on break. For example, friends and family may want you to spend time with them, pulling you in different directions. This can be overwhelming. For others, that may mean not going home for one reason or another, which can cause stress and other emotions as well. The good news is that there are things that you can do to help manage this stress!

Set personal expectations ahead of time: What do you want your time around the holidays to look like? Who do you want to spend time with? What do you want to be doing? If you are not visiting family or friends, what would you like to be doing?

Do not be afraid to set boundaries:  Don’t overextend yourself. If you get too busy, you may become stressed out. Remember you cannot be at two places at once, and it is okay to say no. 

Take care of yourself: Self care is not selfish. If you need a break from the holiday rush, take time for yourself. Do something you enjoy alone. Take time to engage in stress-reduction activities: meditate, go for a walk, journal, listen to uplifting music, etc. Kent State of Wellness offers a free meditation program that you can check out when school is in session.

Take a deep breath: Sometimes simply taking a deep breath helps us to be less stressed and more present. If you feel overwhelmed, try the 5-5-5 breathing technique. It is very simple. Breath in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, breath out for five seconds. You can do the breathing exercise a few times. Just remember to breath normal between cycles or when it is comfortable for your body. 

It can be easy to get lost in the chaos of the holidays, and before you know it, the break will be over. So, most of all, don't forget to have fun. 


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POSTED: Monday, October 28, 2019 - 2:31pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 28, 2019 - 2:35pm
Bethanie Mauerman, Licensed Professional Counselor and Doctoral Student, Health Education and Promotion