Dealing with Holiday Stress

As the holidays are winding down be mindful of how you are dealing with stress. Relatives coming into town, spending time away from friends while school is out, even preparing for the return to school, can cause a lot of stress for teens.

Holiday stress is normal. Stress is a feeling that is created when we react to particular events. It’s the body’s way of preparing us for an approaching situation.

Some ways to relieve holiday stress:

  • Practice random acts of kindness. They will not only help you but those around you.
  • Exercise and stretching can help calm the mind and body.
  • Watch a few classic holiday specials.
  • Being present by taking a couple of minutes to focus on only one behavior. Notice how the air feels on your face when walking or paying attention to the texture in a bite of food.
  • Reaching out to others can help reduce stress by venting frustrations. Social media is your friend. Share what’s going on with others on a “safe teen website.”

Aside from normal holiday stress, some teens can feel stressed by peer pressure during the holiday break. Winter break is a common time for teens to experiment with or use drugs and alcohol. If someone is pressuring you to do anything that’s not right or healthy for you, you have the right to resist. Be confident and be prepared with these refusal skills:

  • Say no and let them know you mean it by standing up straight, making eye contact, saying how you feel, not making excuses, and sticking up for yourself.
  • If you find yourself at a party and need an out, call a parent and tell them to come get you. Your parents want to help and will appreciate you making the right choice.
  • Never go somewhere alone and always have an escape plan.

Set the stress aside and have a safe and happy New Years!