Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Dec. 15, 1995

EAP: Holidays with less distress

The holiday season, for all its glitter and gloss, is filled with deadlines, schedule conflicts and ambivalent expectations. Here are some hints to help you manage your emotions, balance your work and family responsibilities, and create a meaningful celebration.

1. Plan ahead to set priorities and be realistic about scheduling your time. Be realistic as well about your feelings. You will not always feel cheerful about the holidays.

2. Get enough sleep, rest and relaxation. Follow a healthy food plan, exercise and use little or no caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and non-prescribed medications.

3. To take care of your emotional needs:

-- Pursue physical activity to work out anger.

-- Talk out your worries.

-- Create a gift list that recognizes the limits of your financial resources.

-- Develop a positive attitude that incorporates optimism with an enjoyment of challenges. Recognize what you can control (your own actions and responses) and what you cannot control (those around you and their actions and feelings).

-- Seek professional help from EAP (4-5069) or elsewhere if distress or depression are not relieved by these suggestions. Professionals offer support, options and perspective on your situation and concerns. Source: Charlene Gooch

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Revised 12/15/95