Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dealing With Finals Stress During the Holidays

Image Credit: 123Life.com
No matter your faith, no matter your family background, the holidays will have some emotional impact on you.  Your emotions may run the gambit from joy, anticipation, and love of the traditions to overwhelmed, loneliness, non-belief, and hatred of the traditions. You also may find yourself stepping on both sides of that fence; i.e. loving the traditions but dreading the family dynamics that always seem to push your buttons.  Whatever your experience is, there are some things you can do or some thoughts you can ponder to help ease your journey through the holiday season to Spring semester. 

Acknowledge the life stresses you have.  Most of you will be preparing for finals through Hanukah, Christmas, or Kwanza celebrations. You may be facing some stark realities about your financial state during this time and feel pressured to spend on gifts that just aren’t in your budget as you look at buying books for the next semester.  These stresses are real and are only intensified by a refusal to address them or by telling yourself you shouldn’t be feeling them.  Take time to truthfully acknowledge the things in your life that bring stress.

Acknowledge the emotions you experience during this time. They may not all be pleasant happy emotions but like the weather they will change without you fighting, denying, or hanging onto them.  Emotions aren’t in your control so just recognize them.  A happy byproduct of not fighting with our emotions is they generally become less distressful. 

And finally, seek help when you feel like your demands outreach your skill level.  This may involve seeking out a trusted friend, talking to a valued advisor, or contacting one of our therapists in Health and Wellness.  We can’t always have all the answers or skills to solve our life problems and counseling with a trusted source can help with skills development and perspective.