Tips for holiday
By Anne Bromley
Myth of Magical Merriment.
what Kit Hennessy of the Faculty
and Employee Assistance Program calls her annual presentation,
a.k.a. the Holiday Survival Guide. In the seminar
offered to U.Va. employees, she talks about ways to help people
enjoy the season more.
catalogs and store windows shout messages about what a happy
holiday is all about, what the holidays are supposed
to look like and how they are supposed to make us feel, Hennessy
said. We all bring with us our own ideas and values, memories
and expectations about holidays that also influence how we act,
think and feel during this time of the year.
is no wonder the holidays may fall short of expectations. Some
people may find themselves feeling exhausted, frustrated or disappointed.
Others may get seriously depressed.
and Employee Assistance Program
243-2643 or the 24-hour hot line 800-847-9355 (which pages
the counselor on call).
also gives the holiday survival seminar to departments upon
and Psychological Services (for students)
Call the main numbers, 243-5150 and 924-5556, for appointments
or for daytime contact with the on-call clinician. After
hours or weekends, call 972-7004.
some, the post-holiday letdown may not hit until after the new
year, said Dr. Edward Kantor, who supervises the psychiatric residency
training at the U.Va. Medical School. But feeling the holiday
blues is different from the medical diagnosis of clinical depression,
he said. The former doesnt usually require medical attention.
out to others makes a difference for those who need help and those
who lend a hand. We get a lot more back from selfless acts
of kindness than we get back from elaborate decorations and feasts,
addition, taking care of yourself is vital. Here are a few additional
tips Hennessy offers to deal with the typical stresses of the
Watch out for the shoulds and have tos.
Ask yourself, What happens if I dont do this particular
thing? and Do I really want to do this, or am I doing
it out of guilt, fear or for some other misguided reason?
Allow for the unexpected be flexible. Try to get in touch
with your inner child and have fun.
If you have recently experienced a major loss in your life, dont
try to pretend everything is just like it was. Recognize your
hurt and pain.
Try to avoid overindulging in alcohol, food or spending. Be aware
that they usually make you feel more depressed and out of control.
Take time for yourself to relax or to do something you
enjoy. Realize that it is OK to say no to parties
or conflicting demands.
Ask for help. Many think they have to do it all during
the holidays to make sure everyone else has a happy experience.
Including family and friends in the process not only reduces the
workload, but also opens the door to connecting with others.