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Student Holiday Stress

The Holidays are upon us! We hear people say "Tis the season to be jolly," "Goodwill towards all men," or "Joy to the world.," So, how do we keep on an even keep and actually enjoy the holidays? During the holiday break, most of us will drastically alter our physical routines and throw lives our of balance, and we wonder why we feel that our lives are out of balance. The answer is - because it is.

If you want to keep you stress level down to a manageable level then keep as much balance in your life as possible.

Tips to stay on an even keel:

  • Manage expectations: Don't expect this to be the perfect holiday, with everything happening according to Hoyle. Being away from School and most likely with family: the roast will get burned, or the dog will eat the prized dessert, or something will happen outside of your control. Relax and go with the flow. The more realistic your view of the holiday, in direct proportion will you maintain peace of mind.
  • Let people be who they are: As much as possible, let our loved ones be human. If Uncle Harry's motto in like is "Ba humbug," then let him be crabby. The truth is he will be that way whether we want him to or not. You might have to be with him in the same house, but you don't always have to be in the same immediate space.
  • Get outside: Sitting for days on end, eating lots of sweets and doing nothing is not a winning recipe for serenity. The simple act of getting up and getting outside will help in many ways. First, you get away from Uncle Harry; (do not invite him along) and you get some exercise and be out in the sunshine. Even 10 minutes away, will keep the holiday blues at bay.
  • Be a positive influence: We can control our attitude...well for the most part. But, Uncle Harry is a difficult case. the interesting thing is that the more positive we are in our interactions with others, the more positive energy is reflected back. As Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  • Maintain personal habits: Getup and go to bed at the same time. Stay in touch with your friends via phone, text or e-mail for support. Eat as close to normal as possible. Stay hydrated. Turn off the news and watch reruns of old Christmas Specials.
  • Do some school work: Often we are told to leave the campus behind and focus on having fun with the family. For many of us, we would feel less anxious if we spent an hour a day checking our e-mails and catching up miscellaneous projects for next semester. And, we have a legitimate excuse to get away from Uncle Harry.

If you are still having trouble with the blues, feeling overwhelmed, or just need to talk to someone, call the Student Assistant Program and schedule an appointment with a counselor. You will be glad you did!

For the Bryan/College Station area, please calla 979-845-4427, Baylor 214-828-8232, and for the Kingsville area 361-593-3991.

Students not in these areas, please call the University of Texas Employee Assistance Program for TAMHSC at 713-500-3327 or toll free 800-346-3549.

Courtesy of Sam Hester

TAMHSC Student Assistance Program