Beat the Holiday Stress

The FSAP Staff has reflected on recurring themes brought by faculty & staff immediately after theHoliday season. We wish to share with you many helpful suggestions that we researched for you. Here are many ideas about spending, creating new traditions, re-visiting expectations.

Get very clear about what you want.

There is a great deal of stress inherent in the holidays that we cannot control, so it is best to focus on that which you can. Much of our stress results from the unrealistic expectations people place upon themselves and others. Frequently, we are trying to re-create a special time when all was blissful or we may have an inner, private idea of what would constitute the perfect holiday. 

Reclaim the holiday and be creative!

For many people, past holidays may not conjure-up positive memories for a variety of reasons. They may re-live past losses or previous holiday disappointments. So start fresh. Have an expectation that it will be fun, not perfect. 

How can we cope with financial challenges during the holidays?

  • Inform your family and friends in advance that you wish to scale back this year and avoid embarrassment by receiving expensive gifts, while being unable to reciprocate.
  • Do potlucks, instead of parties that you alone have to cook at or spend for. If you do not have a big celebration planned this holiday season, and you work with a diverse cultural group who you know does not celebrate the holiday season, plan a potluck and enjoy a culturally diverse and mutually enriching experience!
  • At work, if exchanging gifts, draw names from a hat, so that one person has to buy one gift and not ten!
  • Focus on quality time with family and others, rather than on costly gifts.
  • Build new traditions- play games, spend time outdoors, look for free events to attend.
  • Volunteer with family and friends ? Information available in local newspapers.

How can we cope with emotional challenges during the holidays?

  • Limit your time with family members who are difficult for you. Plan a short visit, schedule activities to get you out of the house, or decide to spend the holiday somewhere else.
  • Get together with friends or seek opportunities to be with others at a volunteering event.
  • Get enough sleep, eat healthy food, make time to exercise.
  • If you feel upset about overindulging, tell yourself it?s just one day, one week, and get back on track as soon as you can.

We Wish You a Wonderful and Stress-Free Holiday Season!
Eileen, Sandy, Steve & Sue