Posted by Christy Williams on November 23rd, 2016
Holidays can bring on a tremendous amount of stress for many individuals. Common stressors include planning gatherings, arranging childcare, absence of loved ones and even anxiety about social encounters. Travel, year-end work deadlines and competing commitments are also major contributors to holiday stress.
In the midst of all of the stress, it is important for you to remain effective within the classroom. It is also necessary to be mindful that some of your students may be experiencing similar stressors. As you practice self-care, consider sharing some tips to help them relinquish the tension of the season and continue maintaining balance as well.
Getting organized and setting boundaries are among the top ways of beating stress. Planning ahead and managing expectations are also effective ways to manage holiday stress.
- Choose Gratitude – Choosing gratitude shifts your focus from things that may not be going well to things that are of more value. Choosing gratitude gives you a positive outlook in the face of circumstances and situations that may not be as favorable as you desire. A positive attitude will help reduce the perception of stress.
- Get Organized – Holidays often introduce added demands to your regular routine. Getting organized is one way to manage these demands. Using a calendar will allow you to keep track of upcoming events and deadlines while also alerting you to conflicting obligations. In some cases, using a calendar will also permit you to visualize and rearrange your more flexible commitments to a more convenient date or time.
- Manage Expectations – Looking for perfection in every area can be both frustrating and stressful. Managing your expectations will help you avoid becoming consumed with things that are of lesser priority or out of your control. Expect that everything may not be perfect during the holidays, and accept that the absence of perfection does not negate a pleasing experience.
- Plan Ahead – The holidays are a busy time requiring coordination of schedules and more coming and going than usual. Create a list of the things that you must buy and do. Prioritize those and try to tackle related errands in groups. Taking the time to plan ahead will likely allow you to reduce trips and save money.
- Respect Your Personal Limits – No one knows your personal limits better than you. If you are prone to overeat or eat emotionally, recognize your triggers and avoid them. If you are susceptible to additional stress with spending, set budgets and boundaries. Do not be afraid to say no to certain gatherings or events, taking time for yourself instead. Do not push yourself too much, as being well is a major part of being effective.
You and your students will benefit greatly from the minimization of holiday stress. Managing expectations allows you to stop agonizing over finding the perfect gift. Choosing to respect your personal limits will excuse you from feeling obligated to attend every holiday function you are invited to. Planning ahead and staying organized will help you avoid dropping the smaller details that sometimes fall through the cracks with high stress.
Ultimately, taking small steps towards beating holiday stress will clear room for large gains in how you enjoy the holidays and manage your other responsibilities during the season.