With the holidays approaching in high speed, so does the stress that comes with the season itself. While it is an important time to relax and spend time with loved ones, the stress and pressure that comes with this time of year can put a toll on people’s mental well-being. It begins to feel like everyone一from students to parents to teachers一 are greatly worried and irritable about the struggles that the holidays bring upon us. With that being said, there are ways to try to minimize the amount of pressure.

Surprisingly, it may not be the holiday’s obligations and tasks that provoke an overwhelming sensation, but more so the meaning of the holidays themselves: a time in which family and friends get together to celebrate life, whether that be through religion or just spending time with one another. Naturally, the holidays bring a lot of joy but what people often fail to mention are the struggles that arise like dealing with family members that aren’t the easiest to get along with or getting the house ready for the holidays. Family isn’t always easiest to deal, but finding common ground and agreeing to disagree are great ways to avoid unnecessary dilemmas. As for students, this time of year is often thought of as the most crucial point in the semester, seeing as finals are right around the corner. At Mills specifically, the last couple of weeks before break are always the most hectic, as busy schedules cram in excess studying and working on final projects. As Nicole Celentano mentions, “Finals are causing me a lot of stress right now. Group projects add the most stress because they take more effort just to organize.” On top of school, some students have to worry about what thoughtful gifts to get family and friends for the holidays. Gabi Navarro explains how gift buying can be hectic during the holiday season, “I’m stressed because of finals and also because I don’t know what to get for my friends and family for the holidays.”

Like students, teachers also tend to get bombarded with preparing their students for finals and have the difficult task of grading piles of work. Ms. Dove, the Leadership and Economics teacher at Mills expressed how not only her workload piles up, but how difficult it can be to watch students’ mindsets deteriorating: “It’s hard because I see my students put so much pressure on themselves and expect so much (essentially perfection), although […] I know that even if they stumble they still have a lot of opportunity for success in the future…” At this point it becomes clear that everyone is on edge and slightly tense, but what do you do?

Stressful situations like holidays aren’t out of the ordinary, but it’s important to know how to reduce the amount of stress as much as possible. When dealing with these types of situations it’s important to surround yourself with people who are truly supportive of you and will help you succeed. Having a solid group of friends or close family is an important stress reliever to have especially during the holidays. Aside from friends and family, it’s helpful to remember to be thankful for the things you have and to be appreciative of the little things that come your way. For students stressing about finals, it okay to take a breather and relax for a little while. Finals can be scary and intimidating but believing in what you are capable of will do miracles for you when it comes to finals. A tip that could really help everyone out during this time is to think of finally relaxing after all the hard work is done and enjoying the last weeks of this year with the people you love most.

While the holidays can be a handful for some, learning to let the negativity go will ease your holiday worries. Cazathia Torres verbalizes the strain that comes with holidays; “it’s important to let negativity go before the holidays in order to ensure that you can truly relax and take a break from all of the work and pressure that’s pushed onto students during school”. With the upcoming break there will be more time to enjoy doing activities whether that be going on a trip, binge watching your favorite tv show, eating holiday foods, spending time with family and friends, or simply resting up for the new year.

Have a happy holidays and a happy New Year.

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