5 Tips for Holiday Stress Management – A Guide for Students from Direct Placements

Winter break is right around the corner. For many students, this is an excellent opportunity to take the time off from studying and be with family and friends. However, for some, this break between semesters can   be a battle with a different league of stress. Think of last-minute holiday shopping, out of control spending, endless preps for parties, food and alcohol overindulgence, and dealing with unwanted guests and comments during family gatherings.

If going home for the holiday is not putting you in a festive mood, we have some tips you can apply to help you navigate the challenges ahead and enable you to enjoy the season with people who matter.

Direct Placements 5 tips for holiday stress management

 Advice is to set your priorities

Between now and the holidays, there seems to be a lot of things that need to be done. To avoid getting overwhelmed by tasks and prevent the mad scramble, set your priorities straight in advance. List down all the stuff you want to accomplish and scrape out the unnecessary ones. It is also a good idea to keep activities that you enjoy, as they will make you feel energised and keep your stress hormones down.

Get enough sleep

You might feel like you can live off five hours of sleep or even less, but you might want to rethink your sleeping habits, particularly during the holidays. Times like these are often emotionally-charged and require you to spend more energy than you would on a normal day, especially if you are an introvert. If you are not well-rested, you may end up becoming irritable and anxious, which can put a damper on another people’s mood.

Make sure you are prepared for all the hustle and rush of emotions that are about to go down. Unplug your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime to foster calm and try getting at least 7 to 7 ½ hours of sleep so you will feel refreshed and happy the following day.

Be present and make contact

When was the last time you have sat down with your family or friends to listen to their stories and share yours? If it has been a while, take at least a day or two during the holidays to catch up and have a good conversation. This is a powerful way to reconnect with those you love.

You may also use your break as an opportunity to do some philanthropic work. After all, the holiday is all about gift-giving. You do not have to do something extravagant to impact the lives of others. Something as simple as bringing home-made food to your local nursing home, gifting toys to children in a long-term care facility, or reaching out to someone at a crisis shelter can make a big difference to you and to the people who will benefit from your gift.

Avoid overindulging on food

We all know that food is one of the best parts of the holiday season. From mom’s roasted turkey and pig in blankets to grandma’s trifle and mince pies, it is hard to resist the temptation and not overindulge. However, this is not the time to throw out all your health goals nor is it the time to avoid eating as well. Do not let the celebrations weaken your mindset about making healthy choices. Eat what you love but do so in moderation. You should also consider eating food items that are unique to the season and forego those you can have access year-round. By doing any of these, you will not have to derail your lifestyle and stress over eating too much later.

Get out and exercise

Holiday break is a time when you tend to become lethargic and burrow into your room because of all the food, alcohol, and emotions. This affects your body and mind by making you gain weight and making you feel down. Do yourself a favour by going outside and move. A little bit of fresh air and extra exercise can go a long way toward helping you perk up and beat the holiday blues and bulge.