Celebrate the season without the stressors

By Natalyia Calhoun, Student Writer

During the holiday season, many students are more prone to stress than any other time of the year. Stress could be the result of frantically getting the perfect gifts together for loved ones, friends, and even roommates. Even the thought of what to eat, how to prepare, and where it will all take place can stress one out. Let alone the thought of family being reunited, resulting in secrets and new surprises unfolding. It is a time of the year to expect the unexpected and go with the flow. For many of the students, checking off lists for gifts began on Black Friday, which this year began shortly after Thanksgiving feasts.

Black Friday benefits not only corporations, but consumers. Consumers were able to receive discounts nearly half-off original price tags, if not more. Many stores attracted consumers, hoping they will return for other items or refer their store to others after the sales and prior to Christmas. Students during this time are not only stressed with finishing up the semester and taking finals, but also organizing plans for winter break and gathering funds to check off remaining gifts. This results in everyone, not only students, being angsty and easily prone to reaching one’s limit. With this being said, the lines at many stores are longer than usual and patience is pushed, sometimes resulting in the physical and verbal altercations of pointing, shoving, fist fighting, and arguing. In some cases, shoppers may even steal store merchandise or items from other people’s carts.

The holidays are not supposed to trigger stressors as much as they have so far this holiday season. The best advice for students is not to procrastinate during this time, both in regard to being a student and a spirited individual. Do not skip any classes, attend study groups, proactively support groups during final projects, and prepare yourself for finals — whether you are celebrating Christmas, Ramadan, Saint Nicholas Day, Eid’ul-Adha, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Hannukah, Three Kings Day, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Omisoka, Yule, or Saturnalia.  

Here are a few self-help tips to better help students cope with December stressors. Thanks to the convenience and simplicity of health.com, if you apply firm pressure on the fleshy place between your index finger and thumb, stress and tension will be reduced in your upper body. Do not neglect whatever makes you laugh. Laughing like crazy reduces stress hormones, along with keeping in mind that we should forget the mindset of perfection. Stop obsessing over doing everything. Focus your energy on enjoying the people that surround you.

There is also a health.com study on those who’ve received massages this time of year. These participants had fewer medical woes and less stress than those who received rubdowns. Students and their partners or friends should massage each other to relieve stress.

The holidays are to be looked forward to, not being stressed beyond belief. From being done with finals and classes until January, to seeing old friends and loved ones, it is a time of the year to be more thankful than ever. It is also a time to slow down, take a deep breath, and create memories that will last a lifetime.