Ten Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress
For individuals prone to stress or depression, the holiday season can be a particularly vulnerable time. The hectic pace, too much family togetherness, too-high expectations, and other factors can raise stress levels considerably, particularly for individuals with a history of behavioral health problems such as depression.
The Mayo Clinic offers 10 tips for management holiday stress. We have paraphrased them below, but you can find more detailed information on the organization’s website:
- Share your feelings with others and don’t be afraid to express them.
- Reach out to others for support and companionship, including community, church, and social outlets.
- Have realistic expectations for the holidays, and don’t cling to traditions that have changed.
- Set aside differences with family members and be understanding of others’ holiday stress.
- Follow a budget so you don’t overspend. Consider making donations to charity in someone’s name or giving homemade gifts.
- Plan ahead for holiday shopping, cooking, etc. Avoid last minute scrambling.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. Overcommitting yourself can make you feel overwhelmed. Most people will understand if you can’t take on a role in every holiday project.
- Maintain healthy habits. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge in food or alcohol or to give up daily exercise.
- Take a time-out when you need one. Make time for yourself without any distractions, to clear your head of stress and keep your calm.
- Seek professional help if you need it. If the holiday blues are getting you down, talking with a mental health professional can help give you a fresh perspective on your problems. Just reach out and ask for assistance!
By following these few simple tips, many of us will have a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season. So before you pass the turkey this week, decide how you can make the holiday a simple and pleasant time for you and yours.
Market Trends Reflect Seasonal Changes
As the holiday season approaches at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, Stuart Perry has taken time to reflect on the changing needs of his program and its peers. Such changes include the need to ensure that peers receive hearty, hot meals as part of their winter menus at the Perry Wellness Center cafeteria.
Peer Spotlight: Nokia Rhone Offers Unique Yarn Creations for Holiday Giving
As the Christmas gift giving season nears, many peers at Perry Wellness Center are combining their love of creative expression with the opportunity for selling handmade crafts at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market. As one example, peers have been crafting wooden and cement engravings for sale at the winter market.
Now, peer Nakia Rhone has created a unique, warm winter yarn project that can be custom-designed for a customer. The hand-woven scarves are based on a design she first saw on Facebook.
“When I saw the completed project, I said, ‘I can do that,’” Nakia explains. “Each scarf takes me about 45 minutes to complete. They are fun to make, because I know that they are endless. We tie the last yarn together to make them appear as an endless stream of yarn.” From this design feature comes the project’s name, “The Infinite Scarf.” In just a few weeks, Nakia has already designed and created five gifts for friends and family.
Coaching Part of Focus on Fitness
Both team and individual sports have been offered at Perry Wellness Center since its beginnings, as part of its focus on total mind-body wellness. The emphasis on team sports, in particular, also reflects founder Stuart Perry’s most comfortable teaching style – that of coach.
“I am all about physical activity for wellness,” Stuart explains. “It was a priority for me in high school and college, and I accused of becoming a ‘coach’ at different sites as activity increases. “
Stuart is also aware that research supports the use of competitive sport and coaching as a recovery tool for peers dealing with the effects of mental illness or substance abuse. Stuart notes that such activity improves both mental awareness and general physical health.
Some of the diverse physical activities on campus include tennis, horseshoes, volleyball, basketball, weight lifting, walking and running, and yoga. Whatever the activity, “Coach” Stuart is available to offer a helpful word or suggested strategy.
In the photo above, Stuart Perry interacts with players during a morning volleyball game at Perry Wellness Center.
Mexican Piñata a "Hit" as Learning Project
As part of learning about other cultures and exploring creative projects, peers and staff recently constructed and filled its own Mexican piñatas.
A total of four, large balloon-shaped piñata were created and covered with papier mâché. When dried, the piñatas were filled with a variety of candies and small gifts native to Mexico.
Breaking open the piñatas became an enjoyable competition, with the winning peer promised the hidden treats. Each peer group selected a number for its attempt, and the corresponding number was marked by a pool ball on an adjacent table. The peer who stood closest to the numbered ball was selected to spin ten times, then reach for the colorful package with a pool cue.
Several peers approached one of the four bags, but the last participating peer, Jeffrey, finally made a direct hit. Jeffrey chose to share the piñata’s contents with other peers who participated in the competition, before filling his own pockets for his ride home.
In addition to a display of friendly competition and teamwork, the piñata project provided an entertaining look at another culture’s games – and giving it an American twist with the introduction of pool!
Thanks to all who participated. In the photo above, Jeffrey hits the mark on his third swing at the piñata.