Seven Dimension Wellness Wheel
Tips to prevent holiday stress
When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.
- Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
- Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone's name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
- Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
- Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
- Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
- Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling
Tips for Living Green during the Holidays
- Minimize gas usage. Minimize your car use whenever possible to save gas and reduce air pollution. Take public transportation, carpool with a friend, or walk when you go shopping or to holiday parties.
- Bring your own bag. Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags end up in landfills every year. Bring your own reusable bags, or consolidate your gift purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store.
- Battery free Christmas. About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Consider giving rechargeable batteries and battery charger to accompany electronic gifts.
- Make a gift. Make edible gifts, such as breads, cookies, preserves, dried fruits, nut mixes, or herbed vinegars. Give the baked goods in holiday tins or baskets that can be reused.
- Recycling party. If you plan on entertaining, have clearly marked recycling containers at your party for guests to recycle their cans and bottles. Send leftover items home with guests in reusable containers.
- Reuse the tree. After the holidays, look for ways to recycle your tree instead of sending it to a landfill. Check with your local solid waste department and find out if they collect and mulch trees.
- Save while away. If you're going away from home for the holidays, turn down your thermostat and put lights on timers to save energy.
Reference Ohio EPA: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/pic/facts/holiday.aspx
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Connect with the career center. The Career Center can provide information on salary statistics for specific industries, career workshops for your students if you have to miss class, and up-to-date career information. http://www.uakron.edu/career/faculty-staff-ua-community/index.dot
Staying Healthy and Fit
We typically eat more and exercise less during the holidays. If we get too much out of balance with our food intake and our activity output, we may literally be "bursting" with holiday cheer! To help prevent our winter holiday season from coming "apart at the seams," here are 9 tips to fit in some physical activity.
- 30 minutes a day. Activity can be broken into three 10-minute sessions, slotted into your daily routine wherever you have time.
- Stay consistent. Try to stick with your existing workout schedule throughout the holiday season. If you have friends and family staying with you, why not ask them to join in as well for extra moral support? Ultimately, the holidays are a time for sharing – this can include your workout routine!
- Participate at the Rec. Don’t forget about the rec. Group x classes, swimming, lifting, all still available throughout the break. Hours Schedule
- Take the stairs. “In one minute, a 150 pound person burns approximately 10 calories walking upstairs and only 1.5 calories riding an elevator,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1). Remember this quote by Joan Welsch and take the stairs, “A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.”
- Find trails and tracks before you travel. Visit the USA Track & Field website at http://www.usatf.org/routes for routes for walking or running in your destination city. Check with your host or hotel as to their safety before you take off. The hotel or your host may have additional suggestions.
- Clean your house. Set aside several hours one day and REALLY clean your house. Bending, squatting, running up and down stairs, standing while folding and putting away laundry, etc. all burn calories. Get workouts the old-fashioned way … by “working” out!
- Build activity into family visits and outings. Encourage house guests to bring workout clothes suitable for a nice walk as a group.
- CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/motivational_signs.htm
- USATF: http://www.usatf.org/routes/
One of the characteristics of a University that subscribes to inclusive excellence is an appreciation for dates and events that are important to a wide range of cultures and religions.
- EJ Thomas: Many great performances to enjoy over the holidays and beyond. http://www.uakron.edu/ej/
- School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts: Support our student performers while enjoying great cultural and artistic programs. http://www.uakron.edu/dtaa/schedule.dot
Find a stress reduction program. Attending a university can be stressful, given all that you may have to deal with on any given day. At the Counseling Center, we have programs to help you deal with stress. Counseling Center Resources