Managing Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress

Poorly managed stress can impact peoples’ mental and physical health. Prolonged unresolved stress can cause cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress) to rise. Too much of this chemical lowers immunity and can cause heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke.

The following methods can help manage stress:


  • Teach students about how to create balance in their lives, including how to
    prioritize, how to decompress, and learn about moderation.
  • Teach problem solving skills and give real life scenarios in which students
    can discuss common situations and solutions.
  • Use humor to ease tension and relax students.
  • Most people thrive better when there is routine and predictability to the day.
  • Write the schedule on the board each day to inform students of what to expect.
  • Reach out to someone-let students know you care, encourage building a support
    network-we all need friends and someone to turn to when in need.
  • Set classroom rules regarding expectations, appropriate and respectful behaviors.
  • Talk about the meaning of resilience and ask students to share stories about
    overcoming obstacles in their lives.
  • Refer students to a professional, if stress persists.


  • Learn how to say “NO” to obligations when over-extended. Don’t take on
    more than you can handle.
  • Learn deep breathing skills to calm and relax the body.
  • Exercise regularly-this raises endorphins (the feel good chemicals).
  • Learn meditation or yoga.
  • Take items “off your plate” by delegating to others or asking for help.
  • Create a safe regular outlet to vent frustrations, which might include talking
    to a trusted friend/relative, or journaling thoughts and feelings in a notebook.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Limit/avoid alcohol intake.
  • Take time for yourself-something that tends to be last on one’s list of priorities;
    yet everyone needs a break to rejuvenate.
  • Get sufficient sleep-lack of sleep can impact how well one functions on a daily basis.
  • Set short-term, attainable and reasonable goals.
  • Check out PANDA’s Disability Website