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University Counseling Center

Home for the Holidays: How to Manage Stress

If you’re a student, December means more than upcoming holiday fun with family and friends. It means major academic crunch time that usually involves a lot less sleep and a lot more caffeine and junk food! Plus, you’re preparing to return home which may create a new level of stress as you navigate sharing living space with your parents.

If things begin to feel overwhelming, or if you need suggestions on how to keep stress at bay, here are some tips* to help you manage the holiday season:

  • Set realistic goals. Plan ahead, shop and make travel plans early and pace yourself. This will help decrease last-minute anxiety.
  • Scale down your expectations.
  • Manage your time and make sure you leave extra time for last minute changes or crises.
  • Try to relax. Deep breathing exercises, relaxation tapes, and gentle yoga are some techniques that may help you.
  • Monitor your feelings and share them with a good friend.

Taking good care of yourself during this time is difficult but possible. One simple way to stay grounded is to do a mood check by taking a quick, free, and anonymous online screening.

UR Counseling Center is offering these screenings, which can be accessed by visiting Screening for Mental Health website. These screenings help you determine if the stress symptoms you are feeling is a sign of something more, such as a common mood disorder like depression, and how to get help if you need it.

Many college students suffering from a mental health disorder never seek help, even though proven treatment methods are available. It is important for students to know that this help is available, that it is effective, and that treatment often works.

Your mental health and emotional well-being is not out of your control. University Counseling Center staff is here to listen and help.

*Source: National Mental Health Association