Dealing with the stress of being home for the holidays

While the holiday season can be filled with joy and wonderful moments with family and friends, for many it can also bring unwanted guests – stress and anxiety. NEOMED Counseling Services provided some tips to help deal with those feelings.

Set realistic expectations

One of the most significant sources of stress during the holidays is the pressure to meet expectations, whether academic, social or familial. It’s important to communicate openly with family members and set realistic expectations about your availability, commitments and responsibilities. Make your own internal expectations realistic as well.

Prioritize self-care

While it’s important to participate and enjoy these moments, it’s equally crucial to prioritize self-care. Be consistent with your eating, sleeping and exercise schedules. Using routine behavior can provide comfort and lower stress levels.

Extra tip: Try to decompress, relax and recharge before you head home--you do not necessarily have to leave the minute final exams are over, nor wait to return one night before school starts.

Communicate effectively

Effective communication is key to navigating potential conflicts and misunderstandings. If you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, you have a choice to engage or not engage. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, don’t hesitate to communicate your needs. Honest and open communication can help prevent misunderstandings.


If you want to discuss conflicts or any other subject before traveling home, please book a session with Counseling Services by emailing or call 330.325.6757.

Counseling services for faculty and staff, and their dependents are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provided by Impact Solutions. Phone: 800.227.6007 (24/7 live confidential support)

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