Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

The holidays will soon be here, and that means family, friends, and some well-deserved rest. But the weeks leading up to all the fun can be stressful as you wrap up your classes, grade finals, and prepare for next term. Here are five things you can do to ease your angst and stay happy and healthy for the holidays and beyond.

 

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Just Do It.

While it might be funny to twist the old saying about procrastination into: “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow;” but delaying the inevitable can wreck your health. A recent article on theladders.com, states: “A study published earlier this year by Bishop’s University explored the link between chronic procrastination and stress-related health issues. The researchers found a strong link between procrastination and hypertension and heart disease, as procrastinators experienced greater amounts of stress and were more likely to delay healthy activities, such as proper diet and exercise.” That’s no joke. As much as the thought of grading another set of exams hurts your head, you can do it, but first, keep reading.

 

Get the Balance Right.

According to Business Insider, there are several ways to maintain a positive work/life balance during the holidays. However one suggestion stood out: “Be 100% present with your time [by] setting specific days or times in your schedule to commit yourself solely to work, and the rest of your time to your personal life. Whatever you do, don’t stray from that. If you find yourself trying to do a little work here and there over the holidays, you will find yourself distracted, inefficient, and unproductive.” Remember those final exams that need grading? Set apart a specific amount of time to work, and when that time is up, put the red pen down.

 

Keep Healthy.

The Philadelphia Tribune posted an article outlining five ways to remain healthy during the holidays. In short, the period between Halloween and New Years is a perfect storm of unhealthiness--if you’re not careful. The stress, the carbs, the parties, combined with the onset of cold and flu season can take the joy out of the holidays. However, by eating well, taking time to laugh (laughter is the best medicine for stress), remaining moderate in your food and alcohol intake, and finding time to exercise, you’ll take significant steps in avoiding a severe case of the sniffles.

 

Give Yourself a Present.

When you need a push in the right direction, use the proverbial carrot rather than the stick. When you get those exams graded, reward yourself for the positive accomplishment. Need ideas for motivators/rewards? You can find plenty online to suit your lifestyle, personality, and budget. Here are five simple reward/motivators to consider: 1) Read that book you’ve had your eye on; 2) Waste time online. Go ahead and take the quiz or watch the funny video; 3) Buy some fresh flowers to brighten your home or office; 4) Watch a movie; 5) Shut out the noise around you and meditate.

 

Stay Positive.

Keep your interior message positive when things might not be going as well as you would like. If a student or colleague told you they were having a tough time staying afloat during the hectic holiday season, you might offer words of encouragement. Remember to give yourself the same advice!

 

How do you stay centered as the end of the term approaches? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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