Staying Merry During the Holidays: Suggestions from UH Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

As the fall 2014 semester comes to a close, many look forward to the holidays.  For many others, the holidays can create feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed.

Here are five tips for managing your holiday stress from the University of Houston Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS):

  1. Keep gift-giving simple and affordable.   Everyone knows that college students have a limited budget.  Get creative with gift-giving, such as a framed photo that will be cherished by friends or family members for years to come.CAPS
  2. Know your holiday break budget. Try to enjoy activities that are free, such as music performances or looking at holiday lights. Go the mall and window shop.  If you need to travel home, try to carpool with a friend to save on gas money.
  3. Limit drinking.  If you are already feeling stressed out, alcohol is going to make it worse!  Limit alcoholic beverages to just 1-2, or even better, opt for healthier choices such as water or juice.
  4. Rejuvenate yourself.   You are likely to be tired from the semester, and this is your time to relax.   Enjoy simple luxuries such as a warm bath, catching up with old friends, or seeing that new movie you missed during finals week.  Remember to exercise too.  A yoga class might help re-center you for both the holidays and next semester.
  5. Remember what the holidays are about. Remember to celebrate the true spirit of the holidays and appreciate those around you.

If you have concerns that you would like to discuss, call CAPS at 713-743-5454 to schedule an initial consultation with a therapist on staff.  If you are experiencing a crisis situation and need to speak with someone immediately, after business hours or when CAPS is closed for the winter break, you may contact: MHMRA at 713-970-7000, Crisis Intervention of Houston at 713-HOTLINE (468-5463), or the University of Houston Department of Public Safety at 713-743-3333 and ask to speak to the clinician on-call.