Stress Management and the Holidays

As much as we love the holiday season, it can be stressful.  Below are some great tips put out by the Veterans Health Administration to help you relax and make the most of the holidays:

1. Exercise — Take a quick walk or be physically active in another way.  Regular activity is best, but even a 10-minute chunk of active time can help.  It doesn’t take much.

2. Relax — Practice relaxation techniques (deep breathing, mindfulness skills, meditation, etc.). They can help you manage stress and even protect you from it.

3. Manage Your Time — List what needs to get done, make plans for addressing issues, and stick to the plan as best you can.

4. Choose to Be Positive — Stress often is associated with negative, self-critical thinking. Focus your attention on positive thoughts about yourself and others.

5. Designate Some Me Time — Despite busy schedules, it’s important to take time for yourself. Plan something you enjoy and follow through.


The VA offers many tools for handling stress, including the Manage Stress website. The site offers links to the Manage Stress Workbook and relaxation recordings. Plus, you’ll find links to many helpful websites and mobile apps that teach strong stress-management skills.

Veterans Health Library at

More information on managing stress:

happy holidays!

Take a Break, but Keep Moving Towards Goals

For most of you final exams are either over, or will be by the end of the week.  This means you will be able to breathe again without the added stress of having to recall everything you learned in one quarter.  Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for a quarter successfully completed.  You deserve some rest and relaxation for the hard work you put in for the past several months.  There is plenty of research documenting the benefits of taking breaks and relaxing so it can only do you good.  My recommendation is to give yourself a much needed break, but to also to keep your eye on the prize.  Keep the momentum going.

The holidays are upon us and will give most of us that much needed break.  Take it.  Enjoy it.  Savor it…..but remember if you have not already completed your academic program – do not stray too far.  Keep on task.  Focus.  Reflect on the goals you have set for yourself, especially the long-term ones.  Remember the big picture of life and most of all, come back strong for Winter quarter 2015.

Check out the benefits of taking a break from WebMD: